All of the satellites will be launched using the Proton Breeze M launch vehicle, manufactured by Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center (Khrunichev), the majority owner of ILS, within a seven-year period from 2016-2023.
The first mission in the series assigned under the Multi-Launch Agreement is the Eutelsat 9B satellite, built by Airbus Defense and Space, a high capacity Ku-band satellite based on the Eurostar E3000 platform. It will serve high-growth TV digital TV markets across Europe and the Nordic/Baltic regions.
Eutelsat 9B will also host the first data relay payload for the European Data Relay Satellite System (EDRS) being implemented through a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) between Airbus and ESA.
Commenting on the agreement, Kirk Pysher, president of ILS, said: “With their selection of ILS Proton for this Multi-Launch Agreement Eutelsat has made a clear statement that flexibility and schedule assurance are key discriminators. After launching 11 satellites for Eutelsat with Proton over 15 years, we look forward to serving Eutelsat for many years and many launches to come.”
Michel de Rosen, CEO of Eutelsat, added: “Launch diversity is of great value to satellite operators, and ILS Proton has long been a leader in commercial launch for over 20 years. We are confident that the quality program under implementation by ILS and Khrunichev will return the reliability of Proton to the highest industry standards. This Multi-Launch agreement with ILS provides additional guarantee of timely access to space for Eutelsat over a seven year period and supports our long term expansion plans”.