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Arianespace Wins French Military Launch (Dec. 18)

EVRY, France --- Alcatel Space has chosen Arianespace to orbit France's new Syracuse IIIB military communications satellite for the French defense procurement agency DGA.

Alcatel Space and Arianespace announced today that they have signed the launch contract for the Syracuse IIIB satellite. Syracuse III will be launched by an Ariane 5 at the end of 2005 from the Guiana Space Center, Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.

Arianespace's launch services cover the full spectrum of mission needs for European armed forces, including both telecommunications and observation. Syracuse IIIB is a third-generation military communications satellite serving the operational needs of the French MoD. Ariane launchers have long contributed to the deployment of military communications networks, including the launch of the Syracuse 1 and 2 payloads on seven Telecom 1 and 2 satellites, which also carried civil communications payloads. Syracuse IIIB is the 22nd military satellite to be booked for launch on Ariane.

Built by Alcatel Space on a Spacebus 3100 platform, Syracuse IIIB will give armed forces significantly higher performance in terms of data throughput, operational flexibility and resistance to countermeasures and attacks. It will weigh about 3,750 kg at launch.

Arianespace is the commercial launch services leader, holding more than 50 percent of the international market for satellites launched to geostationary transfer orbit (GTO). Created in 1980 as the world's first commercial space transportation company, Arianespace has signed contracts for the launch of more than 250 satellite payloads.

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Arianespace at the Service of Defense: Arianespace to Launch Syracuse IIIB