Airbus Defence and Space

Airbus Defence and Space set for historic launch of two satellites for Eutelsat

Kourou, 16 December 2008 – Airbus Defence and Space is about to set a new record with the launch of its sixth and seventh telecommunications satellites this year.

  • The two telecommunications satellites for Eutelsat – HOT BIRD™ 9 and W2M – are ready for launch and are currently being integrated with the Ariane 5 ECA rocket. The launch of the W2M satellite onboard an Ariane 5 ECA, designed and built by Airbus Defence and Space, is the fulfillment of the first co-operation agreement in the field of telecommunications satellites between Airbus Defence and Space and Antrix, the commercial arm of ISRO.
  • Airbus Defence and Space is prime contractor for the Ariane launcher and the two satellites
  • A new record: seven telecommunications satellites delivered by Airbus Defence and Space in 2008
  • HOT BIRD 9™: the 40th Eurostar satellite
  • W2M: the first satellite built in cooperation with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)


HOT BIRD™ 9 is the second in a series of three identical satellites that will form Eutelsat’s direct broadcast satellite system, benefiting from a total redundancy of 102 repeaters, from the operator’s prime position at 13°E. Broadcasting over 1100 TV channels to 120 million households, the 13°E orbital location ranks number one in the world in terms of the number of programmes broadcast. HOT BIRD™ 8, 9 and 10 each have 64 Ku-band transponders – three times the capacity of the previous generation of HOT BIRD™ satellites, which were launched ten years ago. HOT BIRD™ 9 is the 40th Eurostar satellite and the 15th satellite based on the Eurostar E3000 platform, which first went into orbit in 2004. HOT BIRD™ 10 will be launched onboard the first Ariane flight in 2009.


W2M is the first satellite built jointly by Airbus Defence and Space and Antrix. Based on an I3K platform W2M comprises a payload equipped with up to 30 Ku-band transponders. It will operate from the 16°E position where it will replace the W2 satellite which has been in operation since 1998.  Offering almost 400 TV channels, 16°E is one of the prime TV broadcast orbital positions for central and Western Europe, and due to its steerable spot beam, a flagship location for the islands in the Indian Ocean. As with all satellites in the W family, W2M is designed with flexibility in mind in order to offer a wide range of broadcast and telecommunications services, as well as broadband access.  


About Airbus Defence and Space


Airbus Defence and Space, a wholly owned subsidiary of AIRBUS Group, is dedicated to providing civil and defence space systems and services. In 2007, Airbus Defence and Space had a turnover of €3.5 billion and 12,000 employees in France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain and the Netherlands. Its three main areas of activity are Airbus Defence and Space for launchers and orbital infrastructure, Airbus Defence and Space for spacecraft and ground segment and its wholly owned subsidiary Airbus Defence and Space for the development and delivery of satellite services.

AIRBUS Group is a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services. In 2007, AIRBUS Group generated revenues of €39.1 billion and employed a workforce of more than 116, 000.


Press contacts:

Jeremy Close (Airbus Defence and Space UK)                                                       Tel.: +44 (0)1 438 77 3872

Matthieu Duvelleroy (Airbus Defence and Space FR)                                             Tel.: +33 (0) 1 77 75 80 32

Mathias Pikelj (Airbus Defence and Space GER)                                                    Tel.: +49 (0) 7545 8 9123

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


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