EchoStar Corp. (NASDAQ: SATS) and Arianespace, SA, have reached an agreement to launch multiple new satellites over a multi-year period from Europe's spaceport in French Guiana. The new contract will provide EchoStar with launch capacity and flexibility for its industry-leading satellite program.
"In July, EchoStar's wholly owned subsidiary, Hughes completed the successful launch of EchoStar XVII with Arianespace, giving us confidence in Arianespace's ability to execute on future launches," said Anders Johnson, president of EchoStar Satellite Services. "The Ariane 5 vehicle has been a reliable, flight-proven launch system. We look forward to relying on Ariane 5 to deliver on-time success in the execution of our near term expansion programs."
"EchoStar is a global leader in satellite services, and our innovations have contributed to the success of the direct-to-home services worldwide. With this new Arianespace contract, we remain at the forefront of state-of-the-art DTH services while significantly expanding transponder capacity," said Michael Dugan, president & CEO for EchoStar.
EchoStar's relationship with Arianespace dates back to 1996, when the companies successfully launched EchoStar II.
"EchoStar's renewed confidence in Arianespace is extremely gratifying to us. This launch contract allows us to play a role in the expansion of EchoStar's broadcast and data revolution. Our dedication to quality gives customers like EchoStar a solid foundation for innovation and growth," said Jean-Yves Le Gall, chairman and CEO of Arianespace.
In 2012, Arianespace performed eight successful launches at the CSG: six Ariane 5, one Soyuz and one Vega. Starsem, its European-Russian subsidiary, has also carried out a launch of Soyuz from the Baikonur cosmodrome. The company has a Soyuz launch plus another Ariane 5 launch at CSG before the end of the year.
Based on its launch performance and backlog of orders, Arianespace has been the world's leading launch company for a number of years, capturing more than 50% of the commercial satellite launch market, equal to more than three years of business.