Eutelsat Strikes up Multi-Launch Agreement with ILS – Satellite Today

Proton rocket ILS

A Proton rocket. Photo: Khrunichev

[Via Satellite 10-30-2015] Eutelsat Communications has reached an agreement with International Launch Services (ILS) for a series of launches using the Proton Breeze M rocket. The launches are scheduled to occur from 2016 to 2023 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Eutelsat 9B, built by Airbus Defence and Space, is the first mission in the multi-launch agreement. The high capacity Ku-band satellite, based on the Eurostar E3000 platform, is designed to serve high-growth digital television markets across Europe and the Nordic/Baltic regions, and will also host the first data relay payload for the European Data Relay Satellite System (EDRS) being implemented through a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) between Airbus and the European Space Agency (ESA).

The launch agreement is a significant win for Proton, which has suffered from reliability concerns in recent years. Despite a string of more recent failures, Proton has conducted more than 400 missions, including 11 satellites for Eutelsat. ILS has made recent executive appointments to boost Proton’s trustworthiness in the market.

“Launch diversity is of great value to satellite operators, and ILS Proton has long been a leader in commercial launch for over 20 years. We are confident that the quality program under implementation by ILS and Khrunichev will return the reliability of Proton to the highest industry standards,” said Michel de Rosen, CEO of Eutelsat.

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