• Ariane 5, the European launcher developed and built by Airbus Defence and Space, has been launched successfully for the 56th time in a row
• Airbus Defence and Space was prime contractor of the Ariane 5 launcher and also of Alphasat, the world’s most sophisticated commercial telecommunications satellite
25 July 2013 – Ariane 5 has been successfully launched from Kourou, French Guiana, for the 56th time in a row, once again confirming the reliability of the European launcher developed and built by Airbus Defence and Space, Europe’s leading space technology company. For this launch Airbus Defence and Space was also the prime contractor of Alphasat, the world’s most sophisticated commercial telecommunications satellite.
“This 56th consecutive successful launch of Ariane 5 has once again shown, if proof were needed, that the commitment of the 6,000 people working on the programme has much to do with the exceptional reliability of the heavy-lift European launcher,” said Airbus Defence and Space CEO François Auque following the launch. “The future of European space, especially in the field of launchers, needs to become more competitive, and reliability remains a key element in achieving that’’.
The required performance for this, the 214th Ariane flight, was 9674 kg in geostationary transfer orbit, including 8710 kg for the two satellites. The remaining weight was for Airbus Defence and Space’s SYLDA dual launch system and the integration hardware for the two satellites.
Airbus Defence and Space is the prime contractor of the Ariane 5 launchers. Airbus Defence and Space has been overseeing Ariane 5’s industrial network since 2003, covering more than 550 companies (more than 20% of them SMEs) in 12 European countries. Airbus Defence and Space also manages the entire industry supply chain, from the manufacture of equipment and stages to the complete integration of the launcher in French Guiana, in line with the customer’s specifications. Thanks to the expertise the company has acquired and the investments it has made in this near 10-year period, Ariane 5 has become the most reliable commercial launcher on the global market and has increased its geostationary orbit payload capacity by nearly one metric tonne. A flagship of European know-how, the Ariane 5 launcher has been specifically designed to carry heavy payloads into space.
About Airbus Defence and Space
Airbus Defence and Space is the number one company in Europe for space technologies and the third in the world. It is the only global company that covers the full range of civil and defence space systems, equipment and services.
In 2012, Airbus Defence and Space had a turnover over €5.8 billion and 18,000 employees worldwide.
Its three business units are: Airbus Defence and Space, the European prime contractor for launchers, orbital systems and space exploration; Airbus Defence and Space, a leading provider of satellite system solutions, including spacecraft, ground segments, payloads and equipments; Airbus Defence and Space, the Space services partner for critical missions, providing comprehensive fixed and mobile solutions covering secure and commercial satcoms and networks, and bespoke geo-information services, worldwide.
Airbus Defence and Space is a wholly owned subsidiary of AIRBUS Group, a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services. In 2012, the Group – comprising Airbus, Airbus Defence and Space, Cassidian and Eurocopter – generated revenues of €56.5 billion and employed a workforce of over 140,000.
Jeremy Close (Airbus Defence and Space UK) Tel.: +44 (0)1 438 77 3872
Gregory Gavroy (Airbus Defence and Space FR) Tel.: +33 (0) 1 77 75 80 32
Ralph Heinrich (Airbus Defence and Space GER) Tel.: +49 (0) 89 607 33971
Francisco Lechón (Airbus Defence and Space SP) Tel.: +34 91 586 37 41