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Corporate April 25, 2018

ILA Berlin 2018: Arianespace reaffirms its mission for Europe and the privileged partnership with Germany

Arianespace is participating in the 2018 ILA Berlin air show, from April 25 to 29, using this major international showcase to reaffirm its mission of ensuring independent access to space for Europe and its commitment to building solid foundations for the future, based on the European launch vehicles Ariane 6 and Vega C. The company also is underscoring its close partnership with Germany, a major participant in the industrial sector for Ariane.

Stéphane Israël, Chief Executive Officer of Arianespace, will participate in the panel discussion: “Space, its future challenges on the international arena,” during ILA Space Day on April 25 at 4:45 p.m. Visitors also can stop by the exhibit stand jointly hosted by ArianeGroup and Arianespace during the air show (Hall 4, Stand 302).

Ensuring independent access to space for Europe

Reflecting its assigned mission of guaranteeing independent access to space for Europe, Arianespace has launched 157 satellites for the full range of European institutional players, representing nearly 30% of all satellites launched by the company since its creation in 1980. Arianespace carried out three missions in 2017 for European institutions and governments: Sentinel-2B, Galileo and OPTSAT-3000/Venµs.

Out of the 56 missions in Arianespace’s order book, 17 are for European institutions and represent 35% of the order book by value.

Four flagship missions for Europe are scheduled for 2018:

  • In July, Ariane 5 will orbit four more Galileo satellites for the European Commission and ESA.
  • In October, an Ariane 5 will launch BepiColombo, an emblematic mission to explore the planet Mercury.
  • Between these two launches, Vega will orbit the ADM Aeolus scientific satellite for ESA, and Soyuz will orbit the MetOp-C meteorological satellite for EUMETSAT.

Arianespace is actively gearing up for the future with Vega C and Ariane 6

The development of new launchers in the Arianespace family is proceeding on schedule, with the first launch of Vega C planned in 2019 and the first launch of Ariane 6 in 2020.

With Vega C and Ariane 6, Arianespace will deploy launch vehicles that are well suited to European institutional missions, fully reflecting Europe’s space strategy. These two launchers offer the flexibility required for European programs calling on a wide variety of orbits and applications, thanks to re-ignitable engines. They will also enhance competitiveness due to innovative manufacturing and assembly methods, plus industrial synergies between Ariane 6 and Vega C. From this standpoint, the commitment of European countries for five Ariane 6 and two to three Vega C launches per year is an essential element for the success of these launchers.

Arianespace signed its first institutional contracts for these new launchers in 2017:

  • A Vega C to launch the second-generation COSMO-SkyMed satellite for the Italian space agency ASI and the Italian Ministry of Defense.
  • Two Ariane 62 missions, awarded by the European Space Agency on behalf of the European Commission to orbit four more Galileo satellites.

In addition to these three missions, institutional launches for the period 2020-2022 (transition phase) already are identified for Ariane 6 and Vega C. Production of the transition phase’s 14 Ariane 6 launchers requires the contracting of these missions by the European institutions.

Germany, a favored Arianespace partner

Germany is a long-standing Arianespace partner. For example, nearly 20% of Arianespace’s share capital is held by two German companies (11.59% by ArianeGroup Germany and 8.26% by MT Aerospace, which is part of OHB).

As a European space power, Germany supports the Ariane sector and launcher industry. It makes a 17% contribution to the Ariane 5 program, with the country’s Ariane 6 program contribution to reach 23%. Germany also has a 5% stake in the development of Vega C.

Furthermore, Germany has helped promote European launchers by selecting Arianespace for several launches, including the two government satellites COMSAT Bw-1 and COMSAT Bw-2, launched by Ariane 5s in 2009 and 2010. In December 2017, the DLR German space agency, OHB SE and Arianespace signed a launch contract for the Heinrich Hertz (H2Sat) German technology demonstrator satellite. The satellite will be orbited by an Ariane 5 heavy launcher from the Guiana Space Center, Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana, between mid-2021 and the end of 2022.

And finally, Arianespace regularly places in orbit satellites built in Germany; for example, the Galileo satellites manufactured by OHB.

At the opening of ILA Berlin 2018, Stéphane Israël, Chief Executive Officer of Arianespace, said: “With ILA Berlin 2018 getting under way, and as we actively prepare four emblematic European missions from the Guiana Space Center this year, Arianespace reaffirms its primary commitment, namely to guarantee reliable and independent access to space for Europe. We are especially proud of our favored relationship with Germany, whose support is a key to the development of the Ariane industrial sector and our future launcher family. Ariane 6 and Vega C, which are complementary in the non-geostationary market segment, will enable Arianespace to provide a tailored solution for the deployment of Europe’s institutional missions, while seizing opportunities when they occur in the commercial market.”

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 570 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 ArianeGroup, which holds 74% of its share capital, with the balance held by 17 other shareholders from the European launcher industry.

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