LE BOURGET, France --- Arabsat chooses Arianespace to launch one of its fifth-generation satellites.
The satellite will be launched into geostationary transfer orbit by an Ariane 5 ECA from Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. Launch is slated at earliest in 2009.
This is the 11th Service & Solutions launch contract signed by Arianespace with a customer from the Middle East.
The Arabsat 5th G satellites will be built by EADS Astrium and Thales Alenia Space, as part of a turnkey contract with satcom operator Arabsat, based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Astrium will provide the Eurostar E3000 platforms and will take charge of satellite integration, while Thales Alenia Space will supply the payloads.
The fifth-generation Arabsat satellites will provide a comprehensive, and innovative, range of communications services and also broadcast television channels throughout the Middle East and North Africa, as well as for the first time in this region, full in-orbit "hot" back-up for Arabsat's constellation of direct-to-home satellites at 26°E. Their design life exceeds 15 years.
"Our company is very proud and honored to once again serve Arabsat," said Arianespace Chairman and CEO Jean-Yves Le Gall. "We have worked closely with this well-known operator since the launch of Arabsat-1A in 1985, signing a total of seven satellite launch contracts including this latest one. I would like to personally thank Arabsat for once again placing their trust in Arianespace."
Arianespace is the world's leading launch Service & Solutions company, delivering innovative services and solutions to its customers for more than 25 years. Backed by 23 shareholders, including the European Space Agency, Arianespace offers an unrivalled launcher family, comprising Ariane 5, Soyuz and Vega, and an international workforce renowned for their culture of excellence. Arianespace has launched 246 satellites since being founded, including more than 60% of the commercial satellites now in service worldwide. It has a steady backlog of about 40 satellites to be launched, equal to more than three years of operations.