Arabsat and King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) announced contracts for Lockheed Martin to manufacture two A2100 communications satellites. In conjunction with the award, Lockheed Martin, KACST and TAQNIA Space Company, a subsidiary of the Saudi Technology Investment and Development Company (TAQNIA), signed an agreement to explore future design, manufacture, assembly and integration of satellites in Saudi Arabia.
The two satellites ordered by Arabsat will strengthen the Arabsat fleet to 10 in-orbit operational satellites. Construction of the satellites will commence immediately and will be completed for launch in 2018.

Under the agreement, Lockheed Martin and TAQNIA Space Company will pursue the creation of a Joint Venture, anticipated to be structured as a limited liability company, that would develop talent and infrastructure that will support space capabilities and services in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. KACST will serve as a technology partner, leading research and development efforts that will support new innovations for future Saudi Arabian space endeavors.

Arabsat 6A will be located at 30.5 degrees East and Hellas-Sat-4/SaudiGeoSat-1 will be located at 39 degrees East. Both satellites will be designed for a 15-year service life, and will be manufactured in Denver, Colorado.