Airbus Defence and Space

Airbus Defence and Space completes 48th consecutive Ariane 5 launch

• Airbus Defence and Space is the architect and prime contractor of the Ariane 5 launcher

• Ariane 5’s 48th success in a row is a world record in terms of reliability for a commercial launcher

16 May 2012 - Ariane 5 has been successfully launched for the 48th time in a row from Kourou, French Guiana. This achievement confirms the exceptional reliability of the European launcher, which is developed and built by Airbus Defence and Space, Europe’s leading space technology company.

The reason we’re able to celebrate this 48th consecutive success is the ongoing commitment of everybody at Airbus Defence and Space to the concept of zero defects,” said Airbus Defence and Space CEO François Auque. “It’s a world record for a commercial launcher, and something we can be rightly proud of. As we wait for the next stage in the development of Ariane, the proven success and reliability achieved to date reinforces the validity of the European industrial model for designing and manufacturing Ariane 5.”

The required performance for this the launcher’s 206th flight was 8.300 kg in geostationary orbit, of which 7.500 kg for the two satellites and the remaining payload for SYLDA, Airbus Defence and Space’s dual launch system.

About Airbus Defence and Space

Airbus Defence and Space, the number one company in Europe for space technologies and the third in the world. In 2011, Airbus Defence and Space had a turnover close to €5 billion and 18,000 employees worldwide, mainly in France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain and the Netherlands

Airbus Defence and Space is the sole European company that covers the whole range of civil and defence space systems and services.

Its three business units are: Airbus Defence and Space for launchers and orbital infrastructure; Airbus Defence and Space for spacecraft and ground segment;  Airbus Defence and Space for comprehensive fixed and mobile end-to-end solutions covering secure and commercial satcoms and networks, high security and broadcast satellite communications equipment and systems, 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 2011, the Group – comprising Airbus, Airbus Defence and Space, Cassidian and Eurocopter – generated revenues of € 49.1 billion and employed a workforce of over 133,000.


Press contacts:

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 ALL)                                                    Tél. : +49 (0) 89 607 33971

Francisco Lechón (Airbus Defence and Space SP)                                                 Tel.: +34 91 586 37 41

Ariane 5