Luxembourg and Paris, 30 November 2009 – Global satellite operator SES S.A.(Euronext Paris and Luxembourg Stock Exchange: SESG) and Airbus Defence and Space, a wholly-owned subsidiary of AIRBUS Group (Euronext Paris: EAD), announced today that SES has ordered four multi-mission satellites from Airbus Defence and Space to provide replacement as well as incremental capacity for its SES ASTRA and SES WORLD SKIES divisions.
The new satellites, to be designated ASTRA 2E, ASTRA 2F, ASTRA 2G and ASTRA 5B, will allow the release of the existing satellites at two orbital positions (28.2 and 31.5 degrees East) and add new capacity as well as fleet deployment flexibility for the SES group over the coming years. The satellites are scheduled for launch in several steps between 2012 and 2014. The design life of each satellite is 15 years.
“This important investment in new satellite capacity will enhance the prominence of SES ASTRA’s 28.2 degrees East position, mainly for the UK and Irish markets, and improve coverage of Eastern Europe from 31.5 degrees East,” said Romain Bausch, President and CEO of SES. “It will also allow SES WORLD SKIES to extend its offer to the African and Middle Eastern markets. By adding significant flexibility and improved functionality, these new satellites will allow SES to further drive its DTH, DTT, enterprise and broadband businesses while consolidating space assets and strengthening the international reach of the group. Also, we are pleased to be working again with Airbus Defence and Space. SES has appreciated the quality of their products and their customer dedication in recent and ongoing contracts, and this is exactly what we are looking for in this multi-satellite contract.”
The four new satellites will be built on a Eurostar E3000 platform, the latest version of Airbus Defence and Space’s Eurostar series which has proven to be highly reliable in commercial service. A total of 60 Eurostar satellites have been ordered to date. SES has already ordered three Eurostar E3000s: ASTRA 1M, which entered into service one year ago; ASTRA 3B, ready for launch early next year; and ASTRA 1N, which was ordered last year and is currently under construction.
"Airbus Defence and Space is extremely proud to have been selected by the world's premier satellite operator, and I would like to profoundly thank SES for their confidence. Following a rigorous selection process among the world's leading satellite manufacturers, Airbus Defence and Space demonstrated that it offered the best solutions for SES. The decision to order four satellites in a single contract increases Airbus Defence and Space’s long-term standing as a market leader in satellite production. I would also like to express my gratitude to the teams on both sides of the table for their outstanding professionalism, which ultimately made it possible to sign one of the biggest contracts for telecommunications satellites in the world," said Airbus Defence and Space CEO François Auque.
Three of the new spacecraft, ASTRA 2E, ASTRA 2F and ASTRA 2G, will serve to deliver next generation broadcast, VSAT and broadband services in Europe and Africa, and will carry Ku-and Ka-band payloads at 28.2 degrees East.
The Ku-band capacity will allow SES ASTRA to enhance and secure its existing offering to major Direct-to-Home (DTH) markets in the UK and Ireland. With a Ku-band payload specifically designed to meet the requirements of some of Europe’s largest DTH broadcasters, the satellites will have spot beam and pan-European beam switching capabilities to accommodate both pay-TV and free-to-air broadcasters, and to provide these customers with increased functionality. SES ASTRA customers in this region include BSkyB, BBC, ITV, Freesat, Channel Four, UK TV, Virgin Media, Five, MTV and Discovery. The Ka-band payload will allow SES ASTRA to develop next generation broadband services in Europe, including its growing ASTRA2Connect product.
ASTRA 2E, ASTRA 2F and ASTRA 2G will also include replacement and new capacity for the SES WORLD SKIES division, serving the African and the Middle Eastern markets with Ku-and Ka-band capacity. The new capacity will provide continuity of service and expansion opportunities for customers that are today already using the ASTRA 2B steerable beam over West Africa, as well as for new customers
ASTRA 5B will be deployed at the orbital position 31.5 degrees East, extending SES ASTRA's transponder capacity and geographical reach over Eastern European and neighboring markets for DTH, Direct-to-Cable (DTC) and contribution feeds to Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) networks.
SES’ orbital position 28.2 degrees East is currently served by the ASTRA 2A, 2B and 2D spacecraft. The 31.5 degrees East position is currently served by ASTRA 2C.
For further information please contact:
Investor Relations SES
Tel. +352 710 725 490
Media Relations SES
Tel. +352 710 725 311
Media Relations – SES ASTRA
+352 710 725 500
For Airbus Defence and Space:
Matthieu Duvelleroy (Airbus Defence and Space France) +33 (0) 1 77 75 80 32
Dan Mosely (Airbus Defence and Space UK) +44 (0)1 438 77 81 80
Ralph Heinrich (Airbus Defence and Space Germany) +49 (0) 89607 33 971
Francisco Lechón (Airbus Defence and Space Spain) +34 91 586 37 41
SES (Euronext Paris and Luxembourg Stock Exchange: SESG) wholly owns the market-leading satellite operators SES ASTRA and SES WORLD SKIES, 90% of SES SIRIUS in Europe, and participations in Ciel in Canada and QuetzSat in Mexico. SES provides outstanding satellite communications solutions via a global fleet of 40 satellites in 26 orbital locations. For further information: www.ses.com.
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 2008, Airbus Defence and Space had a turnover of €4.3 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 the development and delivery of satellite services. AIRBUS Group is a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services. In 2008, AIRBUS Group generated revenues of €43.3 billion and employed a workforce of more than 118,000. www.space-airbusds.com.