The Russian spacecraft manufacturer, the ISS-Reshetnev Company has won a contract from the state-owned Russian Satellite Communications Company (RSCC) – aka Komischeskaya Svyaz – to build two new telecommunications satellites, Express AMU-3 (Express-AMU3) and Express AMU-7 (Express-AMU7).  Thales Alenia Space Italia – the Italian division of the European Thales Alenia Space entity –  has been appointed as the communications payload manufacturer.

Express AMU-3 and Express AMU-7 satellites will be based on ISS‑Reshetnev’s Express-1000 platform/bus design with transponders operating in Ku-, L- and C-bands.  Express AMU-3 and Express AMU-7 are due to launch in 2020 to their orbital positions located at 96,5 and 145 degrees East respectively from where they will provide broadcasting and telecommunications services to Russia.

According to the Seradata SpaceTrak database, the RSCC currently has fleet of 12 active Express communications satellites in geostationary or geosynchronous orbit, with six satellites, including the two above, on order.  There is one other satellite Express AMU-2 whose original order with EADS Astrium (now Airbus DS) was cancelled – and whose re-order with ISS Reshetnev was never confirmed.

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