Press Release

SES signs Contracts for 10 Satellite Launches with Arianespace and ILS

By SpaceRef Editor
June 18, 2007
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Multi-launch agreements for Ariane 5 and Proton Breeze M boosters secure SES access to space Betzdorf, Luxembourg / Douglas, Isle of Man, June 18, 2007 – SES, the world’s pre-eminent satellite operator (Euronext Paris and Luxembourg Stock Exchange: SESG) today unveiled new groundbreaking satellite launch vehicle contracts covering the majority of the satellite launch requirements for the SES group from the period 2009-2013. These “multi-launch agreements” ensure that each SES satellite will have a primary as well as a back-up launch vehicle, each with two launch slots, providing utmost planning security and flexibility for the company’s ambitious launch schedule.

To that effect, SES Satellite Leasing Ltd. has signed separate agreements with launch industry leaders Arianespace and ILS for 5 satellite launches each. Arianespace will provide Ariane 5 or Soyuz boosters to be launched out of the European Space Port in Kourou (French Guyana). ILS will provide Proton Breeze M boosters launching from the Baikonour Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The multi-launch agreements include options for additional launches, and represent the largest single launch services contract to date both for Arianespace and ILS. Terms of the contracts remain confidential.

States Romain Bausch, President and CEO of SES: “These groundbreaking contracts with two renowned industry leaders ensure secured on-schedule access to space for SES satellites due to the ‘full dual slot – mutual back-up policy’ that both Arianespace and ILS have agreed for their respective launch vehicles. We are confident that with these innovative agreements in place, the continuous development and replacement of our global satellite fleet is ensured at attractive terms and conditions for the foreseeable future, providing SES with an additional competitive edge.”

Arianespace Chairman and CEO Jean-Yves Le Gall added: “This is a major contract that confirms our strategic partnership with SES building upon a foundation of 26 launches performed for the SES group, and provides clear proof that Arianespace offers custom-tailored services and innovative solutions that meet our customers’ requirements. I would like to thank SES for their renewed confidence in us, reflected in this latest contract. Their selection confirms that Arianespace, with our Ariane 5 and Soyuz launchers, sets the global standard in space transportation and guaranteed access to space.” “The real value in this unique multi-buy contract is the flexibility it offers SES, in terms of matching payloads and launch periods,” said Frank McKenna, ILS President. “We’re proud to continue our long-standing partnership with SES,” McKenna said. “Our relationship goes back to the very beginning of ILS. SES was the customer for the first commercial launch on Proton back in 1996, and ILS has launched at least one satellite a year for SES operating companies ever since. In 2007, we have scheduled launches for SES AMERICOM and SES SIRIUS.”

About AE

Arianespace has been delivering innovative launch service and solutions to customers from around the world for over 25 years. More than two-thirds of all commercial satellites now in service were launched by Arianespace from Kourou in French Guyana. Utilizing Ariane 5, Soyuz and Vega launch vehicles, Arianespace delivers any mass to any orbit any time. Additional information at

About ILS

ILS is a joint venture incorporated in the U.S. of Space Transport Inc., Khrunichev and RSC Energia.  The Proton Breeze M vehicle, built by ILS partner Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center, is Russia’s premier heavy-lift launcher.  Over more than 40 years of service, the Proton has launched more than 325 times. ILS has been marketing the Russian Proton vehicle to commercial satellite operators since 1993, and has carried out 40 launches. For more information, visit

About SES    

SES (Euronext Paris, Luxembourg Stock Exchange: SESG) wholly owns three market-leading satellite operators, SES ASTRA in Europe, SES AMERICOM in North America, and SES NEW SKIES, which provide global coverage and connectivity. The Company also holds strategic participations in SES Sirius in Europe, Ciel in Canada and Quetzsat in Mexico. SES provides outstanding satellite communications solutions via a fleet of 36 satellites in 25 orbital positions around the globe. Additional information on SES is available at:

SpaceRef staff editor.