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Arianespace to Launch New German Military Satellites

EVRY, France --- Astrium has chosen Arianespace to launch the two SATCOMBw military communications satellites. These two satellites are part of a satcom system that Astrium is supplying to the German Ministry of Defense.

Jean-Yves Le Gall, Chief Executive Officer of Arianespace, announced today that the company had signed a launch contract with Astrium GmbH for the SATCOMBw-2a and SATCOMBw-2b satellites.

SATCOMBw-2a and SATCOMBw-2b will be placed into geostationary transfer orbit by Arianespace from the Guiana Space Center in the first and second quarters of 2008.

Arianespace and defense

Arianespace is a key player in the development of a European common defense & security policy, for which the space segment is essential. SATCOMBw-2a and -2b will be the 28th and 29th military payloads handled by the European launcher.

Secure communications

For the first time, the German Ministry of Defense will have a secure communications network for voice, data, fax, video and multimedia transmissions. The prime contractor for this program is MilSat Services GmbH, a joint venture created by Astrium Services and ND Satcom. Astrium, the European leader in civil and military communications satellites, is prime contractor for the space segment, including two satellites supplied by Alcatel Alenia Space using the Spacebus platform. Weighing about 2,500 kg at launch, and with a design life of 15 years, the two SATCOMBw satellites will be placed in geostationary orbit. Their coverage zone extends from the Americas to the Far East.

Astrium had already selected Arianespace to launch the Skynet 5A, Skynet 5B and Skynet 5C satellites.

Arianespace to Launch Two SATCOMBw Military Communications Satellites