The new Russian communications and broadcasting satellite Express-AMU1 satellite has been launched into geosynchronous transfer orbit.
Launched from Baikonur by a Proton M carrier rocket on December 25, Express-AMU1 is equipped with Ku- and Ka-band transponders for broadcast, including direct broadcast, and broadband data services serving the European part of Russia and sub-Saharan Africa. It will be placed in geostationary orbit at 36 degrees East and has a lifetime of 15 years.
Express-AMU1 was manufactured by the French company Airbus Defence and Space with extra budgetary funds commissioned by the RSCC under the Federal Space Programme for Russia 2006-2015. Funding was obtained from credit sources from Gazprombank.
Express-AMU1 is expected to be fully operational in February 2016.
Russia currently has 16 geostationary communications and broadcasting satellites for civilian use. Twelve – Express AM-2, Express-AM3, Express-AM5, Express-AM22, Express-AM33, Express-A4, Express-AM44, Express-AM6, Express-AM7, Express-AM8, Express-AT1 and Express-AT2 – are operated by RSCC and the remaining four – Yamal-202, Yamal-300K, Yamal-401 and Yamal-402 – by Gazprom Space Systems.