WASHINGTON — Europe’s Ariane 5 ECA heavy-lift rocket will launch three 6,000-kilogram-class satellites by 2017 under a contract with fleet operator Intelsat that the Arianespace launch service provider Arianespace announced March 18.

Evry, France-based Arianespace said the three satellites in question will include Intelsat’s two announced Epic high-throughput spacecraft, which will use Intelsat’s mid-ocean orbital slots and the relatively open C- and Ku-band spectrum there to offer a broadband overlay to Intelsat’s other satellites.

Peter B. de Selding was the Paris Bureau Chief for SpaceNews.