Paris, France, September 7, 2009 – International Launch Services (ILS) and Eutelsat, a leading provider of satellite telecommunications, announced a contract today for the launch of the W7 satellite on an ILS Proton. The W7 satellite was built by Thales Alenia Space and is currently in preparation for delivery to the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. ILS and Khrunichev are implementing a mission integration schedule to support a mid-November 2009 launch.
The W7 satellite was built on the Spacebus 4000 C4 platform with a launch mass of approximately 5600 kg and has a 15 year life expectancy. Situated at 36 degrees East, the spacecraft will replace Eutelsat’s SESAT 1 satellite, launched on ILS Proton in early 2000. It will also double the capacity available within a key neighborhood among the fleet of geostationary satellites and provide enhanced coverage for Central Asia and Africa.
The Proton vehicle is Russia’s premier heavy-lift launcher and is built by Khrunichev Research and Production Space Center, the majority owner of ILS. Earlier this year, ILS celebrated its 50th ILS Proton launch milestone with the launch of Eutelsat’s W2A satellite. The award of W7 is the ninth new award for ILS this year.
Frank McKenna, president of ILS said, “ILS is uniquely suited to meet demanding customer requirements and we are committed to providing real business value to our customers. Meeting Eutelsat’s critical schedule requirements with our leading edge integration and robust production capability allowed us to schedule the W7 launch within a timeframe that is simply unmatched in the industry.”