Flight 183 is the 39th ARIANE 5 launch and the third in 2008. 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 35th commercial mission for ARIANE 5. Launcher 540, the 35th production phase ARIANE 5, is the thirteenth of the 30 PA contract launchers, for which AIRBUS DEFENCE AND SPACE is production prime contractor. 540 is consequently the fourteenth 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 dual-payload configuration using the SYLDA 5 “A” (6.4m high) system and a long pattern fairing (total height: 17m), the launcher is carrying a British military telecommunications satellite, SKYNET 5C in the upper position, and a Turkish civil one, TURKSAT 3A in the lower position.