Image; Ariane 5’s cryogenic upper stage is produced in Bremen by Astrium Space Transportation.

Arianespace and Astrium Space Transportation have decided to increase the Ariane 5 production rate, with the company’s two top executives confirming the output ramp-up by signing a declaration today in Bremen, Germany.

The launch vehicles will be produced in their most powerful version – the Ariane 5 ECA – in a stabilized configuration that will guarantee both reliability and economies of scale.

By increasing the production rate, Arianespace will be able to keep pace with growing demand within the launch services marketplace, in which Arianespace holds a leading role with a market share of more than 50 percent.

The agreement puts in place the investments needed to supply seven Ariane 5 ECA launchers per year, beginning in February 2008. It also provides the possibility to perform an additional mission annually in a specific Ariane 5 version – for instance to orbit the large Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV), which is to service the International Space Station.

Inking the agreement in Bremen were Arianespace CEO Jean-Yves Le Gall and Astrium Space Transportation President Evert Dudok.

Astrium Space Transportation is the prime contractor in charge of Ariane production, and it leads the launcher manufacturing activities of the various European industrial companies.

Arianespace is in charge of the marketing and launch operations for Ariane. It procures the integrated launcher from Astrium Space Transportation, adapting it to each customer’s mission, integrating the satellites on the launch vehicle, and carrying out launch operations from the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana.

Le Gall noted that today’s signing in Bremen was symbolic, as the city has been home to the manufacture of launch vehicle upper stages since the beginning of Ariane production. The event was hosted by Bremen in its famous town hall, and Mayor Jens Boehrnsen was on hand to witness the agreement’s signature by Le Gall and Dudok.

Aaron Lewis
Director of Media and Government Relations
Arianespace, Inc.
601 13th St. NW 710 North
Washington D.C. 20005

+1 (202) 628-3936 (main)
+1 (202) 628-3949 (fax)