Added flexibility and improved functionality
In November 2009, Airbus Defence and Space was selected by global satellite operator SES S.A. to deliver four new communications satellites. The satellites, to be designated Astra 2E, Astra 2F, Astra 2G and Astra 5B, are scheduled for launch in several steps between 2012 and 2014. The first of the four, Astra 2F, was launched in September 2012. These 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. The design life of each satellite is 15 years.
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° E. Astra 5B will be deployed at the orbital position 31.5° E extending SES Astra's transponder capacity and geographical reach over Eastern European and neighbouring markets for DTH, Direct-to-Cable and contribution feeds to Digital Terrestrial Television networks.