Arianespace Leads In Japan Launch Market (Apr. 15)
Arianespace today reconfirmed its long-term commitment to the Japanese telecommunications and space industries, and stressed the competitiveness of Ariane 5 in the market conditions of today and tomorrow.
Speaking to reporters during the company's annual Tokyo press conference, Chairman and CEO Jean-Marie Luton said Arianespace is well positioned for the future, and will remain the launch services leader.
Luton said Japan is one of Arianespace's priority markets, and noted the company won 19 out of the 25 Japanese commercial launch contracts open to competition during the past 16 years. "With this 75 percent win rate, we have been able to support the development of space communications in this country," he told the press conference.
Arianespace has launched 17 satellites for Japan since 1989, including the JCSAT-8 payload carried on the most recent Ariane flight, performed March 28. Two more Japanese satellites are on Arianespace's order book for future launches: NSTAR-C, which is to be orbited later this year, and BSAT-2C in 2003.
Luton congratulated Japan on the recent successful flight of its HII-A launcher. "I have never doubted that Japan would eventually have a reliable launcher at its disposal," he said. "This is a tribute to the high quality and reliability of the Japanese space industry.
Looking to the near- and long-term, Luton said Arianespace will operate its Ariane 5 heavy-lift launcher as its "battle horse" for the 21st century. "Ariane 5 is designed to keep pace with the continuing increase in satellite mass and volume," he explained. "In other words, we continue to adapt the launcher to the market, and we are deploying the resources needed to stand up to the evolving competition."