Flight 172 is the 28th Ariane 5 launch and the third in 2006. An ARIANE 5 ECA (Cryogenic Evolution type A), the most powerful version in the Ariane 5 range, will be used for this flight.
This will be the 24th commercial mission for Ariane 5. Launcher 531, the 24th production-phase Ariane 5, is the third of the 30 PA contract launchers for which Airbus Defence and Space is production prime contractor. Launcher 531 is thus the third complete launcher to be delivered to Arianespace, integrated and checked out under Airbus Defence and Space responsibility in the Launcher Integration Building (BIL).
In a multi-payload configuration using the SYLDA 5 ‘E’ (1,500 mm stretched) system, and a middle pattern fairing, the launcher is carrying two telecommunications satellites: the Japanese JCSAT-10 in the upper position and the French Syracuse 3B in the lower.