Astrium has won a contract worth more than €2 billion for 18 additional Ariane 5 ECA launchers with Thales selected to supply 23 electronic equipments for each launcher.
These latest Ariane 5 launchers, which follow an order for 35 launchers in 2009 (PB batch), will be launched from 2017 onwards.
The cost-performance ratio of these new Ariane 5 ECAs will significantly improve due to ongoing Astrium-led technical and process improvements across the entire industrial chain. The additional 18 launchers ensure an added three-year workload for Astrium, as well as delivery of Ariane 5 until the end of 2019.
“I would like to thank Arianespace for this major new order, which shows that the industrial network set up by Astrium is capable of producing the most reliable launcher in the world as well as ensuring the global leadership of Arianespace. This contract reaffirms Astrium’s role as prime contractor of Ariane 5 since 2003 and reinforces its robust order book,” said Astrium CEO François Auque. “The presence of the French President here in Kourou today shows the importance of the space sector to the European economy and industry, as well as France’s commitment to guaranteeing European independent access to space for the past 40 years.”
The order takes to 38 the number of Ariane 5 launchers in production or awaiting manufacture for Arianespace, and will guarantee the continued provision of launch services for the European operator’s customers at the Guiana Space Centre through to the end of the decade.
The contract follows on from the framework agreement signed with Arianespace on 17 September 2013, which has enabled Astrium and its industrial partners to begin work on manufacturing the additional launchers.
The delivery date for Thales' contract is between 2017 and 2019.