Arianespace, Astrium and Thales Alenia Space today signed an agreement for the production and launch of Arabsat's first 6th generation satellite, Arabsat-6B.
Attending the signing ceremony in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia were Arnaud Montebourg, French Minister of Industrial Renewal, and Dr. Abdulaziz Bin Lohieddin Khoja, Saudi Minister of Culture and Information.
The satellite will be built by Astrium and Thales Alenia Space as part of a turnkey contract with the satcom operator, Arabsat, based in Saudi Arabia. Astrium will provide the Eurostar E3000 platform and be responsible for satellite integration, while Thales Alenia Space will supply the payload.
Offering a design life exceeding 15 years, Arabsat-6B will weigh approximately 6,100 kg at launch. It will provide telecommunications and TV broadcasting services for the Middle East and Africa.
Commenting on the company's latest launch contract, Arianespace Chairman and CEO Jean-Yves Le Gall said: "We are especially proud to be working once again with Arabsat, a very prestigious customer with whom we have maintained favored relations since the launch of Arabsat-1A in 1985. I would also like to thank Astrium and Thales Alenia Space for once again placing their trust in us, within the scope of this new turnkey contract."
Arianespace is the world's leading satellite launch company, providing innovation to its customers since 1980. Backed by 21 shareholders and the European Space Agency, the company offers an international workforce renowned for a culture of commitment and excellence. As of 1st January 2013, 211 Ariane launches, 29 Soyuz launches (four at the Guiana Space Centre and 25 at Baikonur with Starsem) and the first launch of Vega have been performed. The company has a backlog of 18 Ariane 5, 12 Soyuz and three Vega launches, equaling three years of business.