Challenging satellite delivery complete

By Rebecca Jeffrey

The Inmarsat-6 F1 satellite was transported from Toulouse, France to Kitakyushu, Japan aboard Volga-Dnepr Airlines’ An-124-100. Photo: Volga-Dnepr

Volga-Dnepr Airlines and Bollore Logistics have successfully carried out a challenging and complex satellite delivery to Japan.

While the total cargo weight was not an issue as it did not exceed 70 tonnes, the dimensions of the 23 tonne CTH04 satellite container was close to the cargo compartment size limit. However, Volga-Dnepr’s previous experience with the CTH04 meant the loading and offloading procedures were carried out successfully.

Designed and manufactured by Airbus Defence and Space, the Inmarsat-6 F1 satellite (I-6 F1) is the world’s largest and most sophisticated commercial communications satellite. It was transported from Toulouse, France to Kitakyushu, Japan aboard Volga-Dnepr Airlines’ An-124-100 civil cargo aircraft.

Volga-Dnepr’s technical crew assisted onsite to guarantee smooth operations. The crew orchestrated the loading process, which was carried out with both internal and external cranes.  

The soon to be launched hybrid satellite features both L-band (ELERA) and Ka-band (Global Xpress) communications payloads and will serve a variety of purposes, including decreasing costs for mobile services and IoT applications.

Dmitry Vorontsov, Volga-Dnepr Group director, APAC development, said: “Not only does the completion of I-6 F1 logistics project strengthens our footprint in aerospace sector but it also brings our cooperation with Kitakyushu City Government/Fukuoka Prefectural Government to the next level as we see real actions aimed at enhancement of air cargo infrastructure in the airport to be able to handle such complex shipments.”

In October, Volga-Dnepr Airlines partnered with Fracht FWO Inc. to transport an 83-tonne boiler from Italy to the US.

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