At 2128 GMT on 18 June 2016, an Ariane 5 ECA launch vehicle lifted-off from the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana, carrying a total payload mass (including the 890kg dispenser) of 10,730 kg. This was a new payload record for the Ariane 5 vehicle beating the previous record of 10,500 kg set in February 2013. The launch was also the 72nd successful Ariane 5 launch in a row.
Ariane 5 lifts-off from Guiana Space Center. Courtesy of Arianespace.
Occupying the upper berth of the Ariane 5 was Echostar 18 (XVIII) weighing 6,300 kg. This is a Ku-band Direct Broadcasting Satellite (DBS) intended for DISH Network LLC, sister company of EchoStar Corp, providing it with additional capacity for its pay-TV services.
The Lower Berth housed Brisat, a 3,450 kg spacecraft and the first communications satellite to be fully dedicated to banking services. The satellite was ordered by Bank Rakyat Indonesia Tbk (BRI), the primary state-owned bank in Indonesia, to provide secure communications services to its wide-spread branches and outlets across the Indonesian island chain.
Both satellites were built by SSL (formerly known as Space Systems/Loral) of Palo Alto, California, and are based on the SSL-1300 platform. The spacecraft represent the 54th and 55th SSL satellites launched by Arianespace and the first SSL satellites launched on the same mission by the launch provider. Arianespace report they have 10 more SSL satellites on their contracted backlog.