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Abu Dhabi to launch $1 billion satellite

The UAE emirate of Abu Dhabi plans to launch its first satellite in 2009 and will choose one of two firms from Europe and the United States for the $1 billion project, state-owned Mubadala Development Company said.

The hybrid military and communications satellite will be launched in second quarter of 2009, Mubadala's chief operating officer Waleed al-Mokarrab Al Muhairi, told the Reuters Middle East Investment Summit in Dubai on Monday.

'The project cost is about $1 billion,' he said, adding the satellite footprint would extend to Africa and Central Asia.

Al Muhairi said there were two companies vying for the project, European and US bidders, but declined to name them.-Reuters end post

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