MEASAT-3b Launch on Ariane 5 Marks Third Time This Year Airbus Defence and Space as Double Prime Contractor for Launcher and Payload

Airbus Defence and Space, the world's second largest space company, is preparing for the launch of MEASAT-3b, scheduled for 1th September (CEST) on board an Ariane 5 launcher, the programme which Airbus Defence and Space has been prime contractor for since 2003.

"MEASAT-3b is the largest satellite ever to have been ordered by Asian operator MEASAT," said François Auque, Head of Space Systems. "The satellite and its co-passenger will be launched by Ariane 5, making this the third flight this year where Airbus Defence and Space has been the prime contractor for both the launcher and its payload, following the successful launches of Astra 5B and the fifth ATV space cargo vehicle."

The satellite will be launched into the 91.5° East orbital position, where it will join MEASAT-3 and MEASAT-3a. Operating together, the three satellites will form Asia's most robust satellite neighbourhood. Equipped with 48 Ku-band transponders, MEASAT-3b will be used to support demand for DTH (Direct To Home television) and data services across Australia, India, Indonesia and Malaysia. The Launch and Early Orbit Phase (LEOP) operations will be conducted from the Airbus Defence and Space control centre in Toulouse.

As the prime contractor for the Ariane launchers, Airbus Defence and Space has been coordinating the industrial chain for the Ariane 5 programme since 2003, bringing together more than 550 companies (more than 20% of which are SMEs) in 12 European countries. The company likewise manages the entire industrial logistics chain, all equipment production and the complete integration of the launcher in French Guiana, in accordance with the customer's specifications. Thanks to the expertise the company has developed and the investments it has made over a period of almost 10 years, Ariane 5 is now the most reliable commercial launcher on the global market, having increased its cargo capacity by almost one tonne in geostationary orbit. At the cutting edge of European know-how, the Ariane 5 launcher has been specially designed to transport heavy payloads into space.

Press contacts:
Astrid Emerit + 33 1 77 51 80 36
Jeremy Close + 44 14 38 77 38 72
Gregory Gavroy + 33 1 77 51 80 32
Ralph Heinrich + 49 89 607 33971
Francisco Lechón + 34 91 586 37 41

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