Press Release

SES Signs a Contract With Arianespace for SES-15 and Airbus Defence and Space for SES-14

By SpaceRef Editor
March 6, 2015
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SES (NYSE Euronext Paris and the Luxembourg Stock Exchange: SESG) today announced the order of launch services from Arianespace for its new all-electric SES-15 satellite. It is the 41st launch service contract signed by SES with Arianespace. SES has also officially signed the contract for its new SES-14 satellite with Airbus Defence and Space. This order had already been announced on 16 February.

The signing ceremony for the two contracts was held at the headquarters of SES in Betzdorf in Luxembourg, under the high patronage of François Hollande, President of the French Republic, His Royal Highness the Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg, and Xavier Bettel, Prime Minister of Luxembourg. The contracts were signed, respectively, by Martin Halliwelll, Chief Technology Officer of SES, Stéphane Israël, Chairman and CEO of Arianespace, and François Auque, Head of Space Systems at Airbus Defence and Space.

SES-15 will be launched on an Ariane 5 in the second quarter of 2017 from the Guiana Space Centre, Europe’s spaceport, in French Guiana. SES-15 will operate at the new orbital position of 129 degrees West for North America.

SES-14 will be launched in the fourth quarter of 2017 and will operate at 47.5/48 degrees West in order to address growth opportunities in dynamic markets, fast-growing commercial segments and thriving video services for the American continents and in the North Atlantic region.

Martin Halliwell, CTO of SES, stated: “For more than twenty-five years, Arianespace and SES have developed an exceptional partnership. Not only is SES-15 the 41st launch service contract signed with Arianespace, but it is also the second all-electrical satellite to be launched by Arianespace, following the announcement of the award of the launch contract of SES-12 in January 2015. The contracts with Arianespace and Airbus Defence and Space clearly demonstrate the important roles played for us by the European aerospace industry and French industry, with a view to realising our strategy and achieving our growth targets across all markets and sectors.”

Stéphane Israël further underlined that: “For the second time since the beginning of 2015, SES has chosen Arianespace to launch their satellites, both for the renewal and expansion of its fleet, with SES-12 and SES-15. These two all-electric satellites, the first in the SES fleet, confirm the technological developments underway in the communication satellite sector. The trust placed in Arianespace by SES demonstrates that Ariane 5 meets all resulting needs. Many thanks to SES for the new impetus that this 41st contract has injected into the partnership which has united us for more than 25 years. We are particularly proud to announce this contract in the presence of the highest authorities in both our countries.”

“SES-14, a particularly innovative satellite, is the second all-electric satellite that SES has ordered from us in less than a year, thus demonstrating once again its ability to adapt in a constantly evolving market,” said François Auque, Head of Space Systems at Airbus Defence and Space. “We are happy to make the best of our technological innovations available to them, at both payload and platform levels. With regard to SES-14, as with SES-12 ordered last July, the weight saved by the use of the electric propulsion has meant that a single satellite is capable of fulfilling two significant roles which would normally require two conventional satellites. SES-14 is the 12th Eurostar satellite ordered by SES at Airbus Defence and Space, nine of which are in operational service and two are still being built.”

About SES-14

SES-14 is a hybrid satellite offering wide beam coverage on C and Ku bands, as well as HTS (High Throughput Satellite) coverage on Ku and Ka bands on the American continent and the North Atlantic region. The satellite will operate entirely on electric propulsion and will be equipped with a plasma electric propulsion system for orbital insertion and for the execution of orbital manoeuvres. The electric propulsion system allows for a significant decrease in the weight of the satellite, thereby allowing for the transportation of heavier payloads. The new spacecraft will also offer a Digital Transparent Processor (DTP), thus increasing flexibility in terms of the payload and allowing for customised bandwidth solutions to be offered to SES clients.

The wide beams of the SES-14 satellite on the Ku band will offer increased capacities for video services distributed directly by the satellite (Direct-to-Home, DTH) and indirectly for cable networks (Direct-to-Cable) on the American continent. Lastly, this will allow for existing VSAT services to be supported on the two bands. Multiple spot beams on Ku and Ka bands will provide additional high-speed capacities ideally suited to the needs of high traffic data applications such as backhaul mobile, maritime and aeronautic services.

About SES-15

SES-15, with a launch mass of 2.3 tons, will be positioned 129 degrees West, a new orbital position to serve North America. The new satellite will carry a hybrid payload, offering additional wide beams on the Ku band, as well as HTS (High Throughput Satellite) capacities on Ku and Ka bands. The satellite will be equipped with an electric propulsion system for orbital insertion and for the executive of orbital manoeuvres. With a 15-year lifespan, this multi-purpose satellite will offer new capacities, coverage above the main airways throughout the American continents, and other applications used by governments, VSAT networks and the maritime sector.

For further information please contact:

Markus Payer
Corporate Communications
Telephone: +352 710725 500

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About Arianespace
Arianespace is the world leader in launching satellites. Created in 1980, Arianespace provides its institutional and commercial clients with 3 launchers (Ariane, Soyuz and Vega) and now boasts more than 250 launches. Bolstered by the support of its 20 shareholders and the European Space Agency, Arianespace is the only operator in the world capable of launching all kinds of payloads from the Guiana Space Centre to all types of orbits. By 6 March 2015, 221 Ariane launches, 36 Soyuz launches (10 at the Guiana Space Centre and 26 in Baikonur with Starsem) and 4 Vega launches had been undertaken. The company, the headquarters of which are located in Evry, also has sites in Kourou (with the Kourou Establishment at the Guiana Space Centre), Washington, Tokyo and Singapore. For more information see:,

About Airbus Defence and Space
Airbus Defence and Space is a division of the Airbus group which was formed by the consolidation of Cassidian, Astrium and Airbus Military operations. This new division is the European leader in the space and defence industry, the global No 2 in the space industry and is one of the top ten global companies in the defence sector. With approximately 38 000 employees, it has an annual turnover of approximately EUR 13 billion. For more information see:

About SES
SES (NYSE Euronext Paris and Luxembourg Stock Exchange: SESG) is the world-leading satellite operator with a fleet of more than 50 geostationary satellites. The company provides satellite communications services to broadcasters, content and internet service providers, mobile and fixed network operators and business and governmental organisations worldwide. SES stands for long-lasting business relationships, high-quality service and excellence in the broadcasting industry. The culturally diverse regional teams of SES are located around the globe and work closely with customers to meet their specific satellite bandwidth and service requirements. SES holds a participation in O3b Networks, a next generation satellite network combining the reach of satellite with the speed of fiber. Further information under:

SpaceRef staff editor.