Flight 174 is the 30th Ariane 5 launch and the fifth in 2006. An ARIANE 5 ECA (Cryogenic Evolution type A), the most powerful version in the ARIANE 5 range, will be used for this flight.
This will be the 26th commercial mission for Ariane 5. Launcher 534, the 26th production phase Ariane 5, is the first of the 30 PA contract launchers, for which AIRBUS DEFENCE AND SPACE’s Space Transportation business unit is production prime contractor. This launcher is consequently the second complete launcher to be delivered to Arianespace, integrated and checked out under AIRBUS DEFENCE AND SPACE responsibility in the Launcher Integration Building (BIL).
In a multi-payload configuration using the SYLDA 5 "C" (5.8 m high) system and a medium pattern fairing stretched with a cylindrical segment of 2 m (total height: 15.8 m), the launcher is carrying two American telecommunications satellites: WILDBLUE-1in the upper position and AMC 18 in the lower position.