International Launch Services (ILS) announces its first commercial shared launch using a Proton Breeze M with the EUTELSAT 5 West B satellite and MEV-1, the first Mission Extension Vehicle (MEV) developed by Orbital ATK. In addition, ILS is pleased to announce the first commercial contract incorporating the use of the newly announced Proton Medium launch vehicle. Both launches are for Eutelsat Communications, one of the world’s leading satellite operators, headquartered in Paris, France.
The shared launch on Proton Breeze M will carry the EUTELSAT 5 West B satellite, built on Orbital ATK’s GEOStar ™ satellite platform, with an Airbus Defence and Space-built payload stacked on top of Orbital ATK’s MEV-1 spacecraft for launch in the last quarter of 2018. The second mission is baselined with the Proton Medium launch vehicle with launch to be conducted in the 2019-2020 timeframe. Both missions will be launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
These two missions for Eutelsat are included under the Multi-Launch Agreement (MLA) announced by ILS in October of last year. The MLA was designed to provide Eutelsat with schedule flexibility and assured access to space at cost effective prices over a seven-year period. The first mission launched under the MLA was the Eutelsat 9B satellite on January 30, 2016.
The Proton Medium vehicle was introduced last month, along with the Proton Light vehicle, during World Satellite Business Week in Paris. The vehicles are a product line extension of the commercial Proton Breeze M designed to expand the Proton addressable GEO market with competitive launch solutions in the small and medium satellite class range (3 to 5 metric tons). The vehicles are 2-stage versions of the time-tested and flight-proven Proton Breeze M launch system developed for exclusive commercial use by ILS.
“Our agreements with ILS are aligned with our plans for fleet expansion and our commitment to control capital expenditure. We commend Khrunichev for the new expanded line of Proton vehicles that should bring added diversity in more segments of the commercial launch market; we thank ILS and Khrunichev for responding with viable and economical launch solutions,” said Rodolphe Belmer, CEO of Eutelsat.
“We are honored to announce a Proton Medium mission and our first commercial shared launch on Proton Breeze M with Eutelsat, a loyal customer of ours for over 15 years and 11 Proton launches to date. Under the framework of the MLA agreement, ILS is able to offer access to our complete family of Proton launch vehicles thereby providing Eutelsat with the added value of flexibility and interchangeability to meet their business requirements going forward. We look forward to delivering on our commitments and supporting these important upcoming launches,” said ILS President, Kirk Pysher.