Airbus Defence and Space

Arianespace orders 35 Ariane 5 ECA launchers from Airbus Defence and Space

Paris, Monday 2 February - On Friday, January 30 at the European Space Agency headquarters in Paris, Jean-Yves Le Gall, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Arianespace, and Alain Charmeau, Chief Executive Officer of Airbus Defence and Space Space Transportation, signed a contract for the production of 35 Ariane 5 ECA launchers (designated the “PB” batch)...

Worth more than €4 billion, this contract follows the letter of intent signed at the last Paris Air Show in 2007, at a ceremony attended by French President Nicolas Sarkozy. The launchers in the PB batch will be used starting in the second half of 2010, after the 30 Ariane 5 launchers ordered in 2004 (“PA” batch).

Jean-Jacques Dordain, Director General of the European Space Agency, and Antonio Fabrizi, Director of Launchers at ESA, were also present at the contract signature.

With this contract, Arianespace now has 49 Ariane 5 launchers under production. Along with the upcoming service entry of the Vega and Soyuz launchers at the Guiana Space Centre in French Guiana, this will guarantee the long-term availability of Arianespace Service & Solutions for all customers. Arianespace is the world’s leading supplier of commercial launch services, with an order book exceeding three years of operations. 

Airbus Defence and Space is the sole prime contractor for Ariane 5, delivering a complete, tested and integrated launcher to Arianespace at the Guiana Space Centre. Airbus Defence and Space manages all industry contracts for the 12 countries who are partners in the Ariane programme. 

The Ariane 5 ECA launcher contract signed on Friday confirms the full-fledged commitment of Arianespace and the European space industry to the long-term availability, reliability and competitiveness of Ariane 5. These capabilities ensure both independent access to space for Europe, and the best launch Service & Solutions on the market for all of Arianespace’s customers.

About Arianespace

Arianespace is the world’s leading launch Service & Solutions company, delivering innovative offer to its customers since 1980. Backed by its 23 shareholders and the European Space Agency, Arianespace proposes an unrivalled launcher family, comprising Ariane 5, Soyuz and Vega, and an international workforce renowned for their culture of commitment and excellence. As of 01 January 2009, Arianespace had launched a total of 265 payloads, including more than half of all the commercial satellites now in service worldwide. It has a backlog of more than 20 Ariane 5 and 10 Soyuz launches, equal to 3 years of business.

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 Defence and Space is a shareholder in Arianespace. Airbus Defence and Space is also involved in Starsem and Eurockot Launch Services which market the Soyuz and Rockot launchers, designed to deliver smaller payloads into low Earth or sun-synchronous orbits, and for launching interplanetary missions.

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