Satellite fleet operator Russian Satellite Communications Co. (RSCC) will be soliciting bids in the coming weeks for the construction of two high-power telecommunications satellites to provide high-definition and 3-D television broadcasts in Russia, RSCC announced April 23.

The two satellites, called Express-AT1 and Express-AT2, are scheduled for launch in 2012, which would suggest a rapid evaluation and contract-negotiation period. Express-AT1 will replace the Bonum-1 satellite, a Boeing 376 HP model launched in 1998, at 56 degrees east in geostationary orbit. RSCC said at least a quarter of the two satellites’ capacity will be devoted to promoting satellite-television channels in Russia.

RSCC in the past has purchased satellite payloads and platforms from U.S., European and Japanese companies in addition to Russian suppliers.