TOKYO, JAPAN: Mitsubishi Electric Corp. announced that under a plan to double annual satellite production capacity from four satellites to eight, it will invest approximately 3 billion JPY to enlarge and upgrade its Kamakura Works production facility in Kamakura, Japan. Construction is scheduled for completion by March 2013. Responding to growing demand worldwide, the company intends to double satellite-related annual sales to 150 billion JPY by March 2021.
The satellite business is positioned as a key contributor to Mitsubishi Electric's future growth. The new facility will help to reduce costs and shorten delivery time by integrating production processes, such as component assembly and environmental testing. At completion, the enlarged facility will have a total floor space of 7,700 m2.
In 2009, the Japanese government announced its Basic Plan for Space Policy, declaring that development and production of satellites should be utilization-driven rather than R&D-driven. Going forward, satellites are expected to be utilized increasingly for high-precision positioning, navigation and timing (PNT) information services and other public-oriented infrastructure. In addition, the annual demand for new satellites in the global commercial communications market has risen to about 20, reflecting the rapid increase in traffic for data and telecommunications.
Mitsubishi Electric, which entered the space industry in the 1960s, has participated in more than 440 satellite projects worldwide. In 2000, it became the first Japanese manufacturer capable of developing, designing, assembling and testing satellites at a single location. Equipped with one of Japan's largest thermal vacuum testing chambers, an acoustic test chamber and an antenna test range, the company's Kamakura Works so far has produced 18 satellites, as well as electronic modules for the Japanese H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV).
In March 2011, Mitsubishi Electric was selected from a pool of competitors to supply the Turksat-4A and -4B satellites to Turksat A.S. The two satellites will be built using the company's DS2000 standard satellite platform to facilitate the delivery of highly reliable satellites at reasonable costs.
In May, Mitsubishi Electric announced that the ST-2 communications satellite, which the company built for a joint venture between Singapore Telecommunications Ltd (SingTel) and Taiwan's Chunghwa Telecom Company Limited (Chunghwa Telecom), had been successfully launched and injected into geostationary orbit.