Jean-Yves Le Gall, CEO of Arianespace, and Anatoli Perminov, Director General of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, signed today in Moscow the partnership contract concerning the production and supply of Russian equipment and systems for the construction of facilities needed to launch Soyuz from the Guiana Space Center (CSG) in French Guiana.

It provides for the manufacture, assembly and validation by Russian companies of Soyuz launcher interface systems and equipment, adaptation of this launcher to conditions at CSG (range safety, telemetry, environment), and completion of final development of the latest version of the launcher, Soyuz 2-1b.

This contract marks the first step in application of the inter-governmental agreements between France, the Russian Federation and the European Space Agency, to allow Soyuz launches from French Guiana. It follows four agreements on program financing, signed on March 21 in a ceremony attended by the French prime minister.

In the frame of this contract, Roscosmos is working with several major Russian space companies: the Samara Space Center TsSKB Progress (prime contractor for the Soyuz launch system), NPO-Lavotchkine (prime contractor for the Fregat upper stage), the KBOM design office (prime contractor for ground infrastructures) and TsENKI, the goverment center in charge of supervising the Russian industrial partners involved in the ground infrastructure.

Arianespace has already signed its first contracts for Soyuz launches from French Guiana with both commercial and government customers, for launches starting in 2008. Operations with this new launch system confirm both the complementary fit of Ariane 5 and Soyuz as well as Arianespace’s policy of offering a complete family of launchers. Soyuz launches from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan are currently marketed by Starsem, a joint subsidiary of Arianespace, EADS, Roscosmos and the Samara Space Center.

About Arianespace

Arianespace is the commercial launch services leader, holding more than 50 percent of the international market for satellites launched to geostationary transfer orbit (GTO).  Created in 1980 as the world’s first commercial space transportation company, Arianespace has signed contracts for the launch of more than 260 satellite payloads.  For further information, see the Arianespace Web site at