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Corporate April 20, 2017

After announcing its new governance in late March, Arianespace signs another launch contract in Japan and gears up for the launch of B-SAT

Arianespace Japan Week 2017

During its annual Japan Week event in Tokyo, Arianespace announced the signature of a contract to launch the Horizons 3e satellite, operated by SKY Perfect JSAT and Intelsat through a joint venture.

Arianespace has worked with Japan for 31 years, signing 31 launch contracts for Japanese operators. Its order book comprises 100% of the country’s upcoming commercial geostationary satellites, including BSAT-4a, to be launched this summer.

Arianespace confirms leadership position in Japan

Since orbiting JCSAT-1 in 1989, Arianespace has launched a total of 28 geostationary satellites for the Japanese operators SKY Perfect JSAT and B-SAT. It also has launched five satellites built in Japan: three under the responsibility of Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (MELCO) and two under the responsibility of NEC (NEC Space Technologies, formerly NEC Toshiba Space Systems).

Arianespace has announced two new contracts from Japan in 2017, for two telecommunications satellites:

  • JCSAT-17, on behalf of SKY Perfect JSAT, to be orbited by an Ariane 5 heavy launcher from the Guiana Space Center, Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana, in 2019.
  • Horizons 3e for SKY Perfect JSAT and Intelsat, through a joint venture, to be launched by an Ariane 5 starting in late 2018.

With 31 launch service contracts signed in 31 years, Arianespace has a 74% market share in Japan for geostationary satellites, confirming its leadership and status as a preferred partner, recognized for the reliability and availability of its launch services. Arianespace’s current order book includes all geostationary satellites for Japanese operators, for which launch contracts were open to competition: BSAT-4a for the operator B-SAT,  DSN-1/Superbird 8, JCSAT-17 and Horizons-3e for the operator SKY Perfect JSAT.

Arianespace’s order book now stands at nearly 5.1 billion euros for 53 launches (20 by Ariane, 26 by Soyuz and 7 by Vega) for 30 customers worldwide.

After setting a number of new records in 2016, Arianespace plans a total of 12 launches in 2017, including one for B-SAT

Arianespace carried out 11 launches from the Guiana Space Center (CSG) in 2016, orbiting 27 payloads. One of these was the JCSAT-15 satellite, via an Ariane 5 launch on December 21 for SKY Perfect JSAT. Ariane 5 also set two consecutive records for payload weight injected into geostationary transfer orbit (GTO).

These successes clearly illustrate the versatility and performance of the Arianespace family of launchers: Ariane, Soyuz and Vega.

Arianespace plans 12 launches in 2017, seven by Ariane 5, three by Vega and two by Soyuz. Three of these launches already have been performed:

  • On January 27, Arianespace launched the Hispasat 36W-1 satellite for the Spanish operator Hispasat. This was the first Soyuz mission to GTO from the Guiana Space Center;
  • On February 14, Ariane 5 chalked up its 77th successful launch in a row, orbiting SKY Brasil-1 for AT&T/DIRECTV and Telkom 3S for Telkom Indonesia within the scope of a turnkey contract with Thales Alenia Space;
  • On March 6, the Vega light launcher orbited the Sentinel-2B observation satellite for the European Commission, within the scope of a contract with the European Space Agency (ESA).

Ariane 5 will orbit the Japanese satellite BSAT-4a for the operator B-SAT this summer.

“Mission to Success” reaffirmed!

Arianespace’s governance has undergone two major changes since the end of 2016:

  • In December 2016, Airbus Safran Launchers became the majority shareholder in Arianespace, with a 74% stake, after the transfer of shares from French space agency CNES. The balance of Arianespace’s shares, held by companies in the European launcher industry, remains unchanged. As a subsidiary of Airbus Safran Launchers, Arianespace retains its status as an distinct company – with a neutral stance in relation to satellite manufacturers – and continues to be the single point of contact for its customers.
  • On March 27, 2017, Arianespace’s shareholders voted unanimously to change the legal form of the launch services operator, as well as its governance. Stéphane Israël, now Chief Executive Officer of Arianespace, also joins the Executive Committee of Airbus Safran Launchers as Executive Vice President of Airbus Safran Launchers, in charge of Civil Launcher Programs.

These changes will enable Arianespace and its industrial partners to enhance their agility and competitiveness to keep pace with the changing market, all for the greater benefit of customers. In addition, they will help Arianespace build stronger foundations for the future, with the Ariane 6 and Vega C launchers.

Arianespace’s office in Tokyo continues to be sole responsible for sales in Japan of launch services with the company’s family of launchers. At the same time, in the framework of the new governance of Arianespace and its parent company Airbus Safran Launchers, the Tokyo office will now be able to offer expanded industrial and commercial collaboration with Japan.

During his visit to Japan, Arianespace CEO Stéphane Israël said: “With 31 contracts signed in the last 31 years, Japan is one of Arianespace’s major partners. Operators in this country are among our most loyal customers, and we are very proud to have launched the large majority of Japanese commercial satellites now in orbit. Building on an order book that includes all geostationary satellites for Japanese operators that were open to launch services competition, we fully intend to maintain and reinforce these special ties with Japan. This will be supported within the scope of the new Arianespace governance and backed by our future Ariane 6 and Vega

launchers. Arianespace will mobilize all of our forces to help Japan meet its ambitious objectives in space, conducting their missions and sharing in the success.” 

About Arianespace

Arianespace uses space to make life better on Earth by providing launch services for all types of satellites into all orbits. It has orbited more than 550 satellites since 1980, using its family of three launchers, Ariane, Soyuz and Vega, from launch sites in French Guiana (South America) and Baikonur, Kazakhstan. Arianespace is headquartered in Evry, near Paris, and has a technical facility at the Guiana Space Center, Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana, plus local offices in Washington, D.C., Tokyo and Singapore. Arianespace is a subsidiary of Airbus Safran Launchers, which holds 74% of its share capital, with the balance held by 17 other shareholders from the European launcher industry.

Après avoir annoncé fin mars une nouvelle gouvernance, Arianespace signe un nouveau contrat au service du Japon et prépare un lancement pour B-SAT
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Corporate March 29, 2017

Evolution of Arianespace governance ensures greater coherence with Airbus Safran Launchers

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