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Arianespace orders 35 launchers from Astrium


The agreement for 35 Ariane 5 ECA launchers is signed by Arianespace Chairman & CEO Jean-Yves Le Gall (at right) and Astrium Space Transportation CEO Alain Charmeau.

PARIS (BNS): The Arianespace has ordered production of 35 Ariane 5 ECA launchers worth four billion euros. A contract to this effect was signed on Friday last, at European Space Agency (ESA) headquarters here between Jean-Yves Le Gall, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Arianespace, and Alain Charmeau, Chief Executive Officer of Astrium Space Transportation.

Astrium is a wholly owned subsidiary of EADS dedicated to providing civil and defence space systems and services.

The Ariane 5 ECA launcher contract signed on Friday confirms the full-fledged commitment of Arianespace and the European space industry to the long-term availability, reliability and competitiveness of Ariane 5. These capabilities ensure both independent access to space for Europe and the best launch Service & Solutions on the market for all of Arianespace’s customers.

This contract follows the letter of intent signed at the Paris Air Show in 2007, at a ceremony attended by French President Nicolas Sarkozy. “The launchers in the PB batch will be used starting in the second half of 2010, after the 30 Ariane 5 launchers ordered in 2004 (“PA” batch),” a statement released from Arianespace said.

With this contract, Arianespace now has 49 Ariane 5 launchers under production, the statement added.

Astrium is the sole prime contractor for Ariane 5, delivering a complete, tested and integrated launcher to Arianespace at the Guiana Space Center. Astrium manages all industry contracts for the 12 countries who are partners in the Ariane programme.

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