Avanti’s Hylas-4 satellite, launched in April, is now expected to enter service in September. Credit: Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems

PARIS — Satellite fleet operator Avanti Communications said government and commercial-maritime satellite services provider Comsat has entered into a seven-year distribution agreement to access Avanti’s fleet, in particular its new Ka-band Hylas-4 satellite.

London-based Avanti said Hylas-4, launched in April and built by Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems, the former Orbital ATK, would enter service in September, a delay from the previously announced August service start date.

Operating from 33.5 degrees west, Hylas-4 has 64 fixed and four steerable Ka-band beams, with each beam capable of providing 920 MHz of throughput.

Washington-based Comsat is a major provider of satellite services to the U.S. government and leases fixed and mobile satellite capacity from a dozen fleet operators. The company is an approved satellite capacity provider under several U.S. government contract vehicles.

“With Avanti, we have found a well-balanced partner to better serve our customers,” Comsat President David Greenhill said in an Aug. 28 statement, referring specifically to Hylas-4, which is compatible with the U.S. Air Force Wideband Global Satcom (WGS) military-Ka-band satellites.”

Avanti Chief Executive Kyle Whitehill said the Comsat distribution agreement “takes us into new markets.”

Avanti said that through Comsat, it will “gain immediate access to U.S. global government and military activity that may otherwise take multiple years to gain approval to serve.”

Comsat will focus on Africa and the Middle East in its use of Hylas-4.

$20 million Indonesian payment in aribitration-court-ordered settlement

Separately, Avanti announced that the Indonesian government has made the final payment on its $20.075 million settlement with respect to use of Avanti’s Artemis S-band satellite. The Indonesian military had leased Artemis to preserve an S-band orbital slot for Indonesia’s planned $800-million SatKomHan satellite system, then refused to pay Avanti: https://bit.ly/2MBqQfx

The London Court of Arbitration ruled in Avanti’s favor, and the cash payment is welcome news for Avanti’s balance sheet.

“We thank the Government of Indonesia for its payment of the outstanding sum due to Avanti Communications Group plc, following our earlier support of Indonesian satellite communications plans which utilized our now decommissioned Artemis satellite,” Whitehill said in an Aug. 28 statement. “With this issue resolved and HYLAS 4 about to come on-stream, Avanti goes forward.”