Headlines > News > Arianespace will build on Ariane 5's success to remain the no. 1 launch services provider

Arianespace will build on Ariane 5's success to remain the no. 1 launch services provider

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Wed Jun 20, 2007 4:26 pm
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Arianespace is ready to meet the needs of an increasingly buoyant marketplace with its Service & Solutions offer that is built on a family of capable launch vehicles, a highly-organized industrial team, and an accelerating mission rate.

These were among the key points made by Chairman and CEO Jean-Yves Le Galls during Arianespace’s Paris Air Show press conference, where he outlined the company’s strengths that will maintain Arianespace as the no. 1 commercial launch services provider.

Le Gall said Arianespace’s “roadmap” for the next two years involves the launch rate build-up for the heavy-lift Ariane 5, the introduction of Soyuz 2 for medium-lift missions from French Guiana, and the continued development of the Vega light launcher.

“A cornerstone of our success is clearly based on the formidable capabilities of Ariane 5 ECA, which has demonstrated its maturity, mission after mission,” Le Gall said. “With Ariane 5, we have a qualified, standardized launch vehicle that lifts off when we say it will – which is very much appreciated by our customers.”

One example of customer satisfaction is the framework contract announced this week with global telecommunications operator SES, which calls for the launch of one to two SES satellites per year during the next five years. “This is an extremely important order, not only due to the number of payloads involved, but because SES is reserving launch slots even before it orders the satellites,” Le Gall said.

Arianespace’s current backlog of 40 payloads is by far the industry’s strongest, and Le Gall revealed the company will be announcing more contracts during the Paris Air Show, further boosting the backlog to 44.

Le Gall said an important element of Ariane 5’s operational success is the streamlined industrial setup, where assembled launchers are provided by prime contractor EADS Astrium, with Arianespace responsible for the payload integration, launch operations, marketing and customer support. This same approach will be applied for the two new vehicles in Arianespace launcher family – Soyuz and Vega.

Arianespace is preparing to order a new batch of 35 Ariane 5s, with an agreement expected to be signed very soon for long-lead production items.

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