On Friday, January 30 at the European Space Agency headquarters in Paris, Jean-Yves Le Gall, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Arianespace, and Alain Charmeau, Chief Executive Officer of Astrium Space Transportation, signed a contract for the production of 35 Ariane 5 ECA launchers (designated the "PB" batch).
Worth more than €4 billion, this contract follows the letter of intent signed at the last 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).
Jean-Jacques Dordain, Director General of the European Space Agency, and Antonio Fabrizi, Director of Launchers at ESA, were also present at the contract signature.
With this contract, Arianespace now has 49 Ariane 5 launchers under production. Along with the upcoming service entry of the Vega and Soyuz launchers at the Guiana Space Center in French Guiana, this will guarantee the long-term availability of Arianespace Service & Solutions for all customers. Arianespace is the world's leading supplier of commercial launch services, with an order book exceeding three years of operations.
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.
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.
Source: Arianespace orders 35 Ariane 5 ECA launchers from Astrium
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