Eutelsat S.A. a major European and global Fixed Service Satellite (FSS) operator, has signed a contract with European launch provider Arianespace for three future launches utilising their heavy-lift Ariane 5 rocket. The announcement comes the day after Arianespace have completed launching the all-electric EUTELSAT 172B spacecraft, marking the 32nd satellite launched by the launch provider for Eutelsat.
The contract concerns the upcoming EUTELSAT 7C (to be launched in 2018), EUTELSAT QUANTUM and the EUTELSAT AFRICAN BROADBAND SATELLITE (both scheduled to be launched in 2019). Reportedly, Eutelsat have also signalled their interest in utilisation of the upcoming next-generation launcher Ariane 6, being developed for Arianespace by Airbus Safran Launchers (ASL) – soon to be rebranded to ArianeGroup.
Clarification by David Todd: Of the three launch orders above, two were connected to a four launch multi-launch booking originally signed in February 2013. One of the above – assumed to be the launch order for the EUTELSAT AFRICAN BROADBAND SATELLITE – later called KONNECT – was an ADDITIONAL launch order added to this multi-launch deal.