Airbus Defence and Space

New generation Alphasat satellite passes a major construction milestone

• Alphasat I-XL Communications Module mated to the first Alphabus platform

• Largest European satellite starts final AIT at Airbus Defence and Space, on track for delivery end of 2012

Toulouse, 15 March 2011 – The Alphasat I-XL communications module was today mated with the Alphabus platform, enabling the huge satellite to take shape and enter its final assembly and test phase at the Airbus Defence and Space facilities in Toulouse, France.

Built by Airbus Defence and Space for European operator Inmarsat, Alphasat I-XL carries a new generation of advanced geomobile communications payload in L-band that will augment Inmarsat’s Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN) service, enabling communications across Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East with increased capacity. Alphasat I-XL features a new generation digital signal processor for the payload, and a 12 metre aperture antenna reflector. Alphasat I-XL also carries technology demonstration payloads for the European Space Agency.

Alphasat I-XL uses the protoflight model of new European Alphabus, which has been jointly developed by Airbus Defence and Space and Thales Alenia Space with ESA and CNES support to address the upper range of the communications satellite market. The Alphabus platform is qualified and now available on the commercial market to accommodate missions up to 18 kW of payload power, with ongoing developments to extend the range up to 22 kW.

Weighing more than 6,000kg, Alphasat I-XL is planned for delivery end of 2012 and launch by Ariane 5.



About Airbus Defence and Space

Airbus Defence and Space is the number one company in Europe for space technologies and a wholly owned subsidiary of AIRBUS Group, dedicated to providing civil and defence space systems and services.

In 2010, Airbus Defence and Space had a turnover of €5 billion and more than 15,000 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 Airbus Defence and Space for comprehensive end-to-end solutions covering secure and commercial satcoms and networks, high security satellite communications equipment, bespoke geo-information and navigation services worldwide.

AIRBUS Group is a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services. In 2010, the Group – comprising Airbus, Airbus Defence and Space, Cassidian and Eurocopter – generated revenues of € 45.8 billion and employed a workforce of nearly 122,000.

Press contacts:

Daniel Mosely (Airbus Defence and Space UK)                                                      Tel.: +44 (0)1 438 77 8180

Matthieu Duvelleroy (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

CommunicationsAlphasat I-XL