Flight 216 is the 73rd Ariane 5 launch and the second in 2014. It follows on from a series of 58 consecutive successful Ariane 5 launches. An ARIANE 5 ECA (Cryogenic Evolution type A), the most powerful version in the ARIANE 5 range, will be used for this flight.
Flight 216 is a commercial mission for Ariane 5. The L571 launcher is the fifteenth in the A5ECA family to be delivered by Airbus Defence and Space to Arianespace as part of the PB production batch. The PB production contract was signed in March 2009 to guarantee continuity of the launch service after completion of the PA batch comprising 30 launchers. The PB production batch comprises 35 A5ECA launchers and covers the period from 2010 to 2016. On 14th December 2013, it was extended by an order for a further 18 ECA launchers, scheduled for launch as of 2017. L571 is consequently the forty-sixth complete launcher to be delivered to Arianespace, integrated and checked out under Airbus Defence and Space responsibility in the Launcher Integration Building (BIL).