Russian Telecom Firm Orders Satellite Pair from ISS Reshetnev

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PONTE VEDRA, Fla. — Russia’s ISS Reshetnev satellite manufacturer will build two large multiband telecommunications satellites for Russian Satellite Communications Co. (RSCC) under a contract announced Aug. 14 by Moscow-based RSCC.

The two satellites, Express-AM5 and Express-AM6, will have payload electronics provided by Thales Alenia Space of France and Italy, a longtime ISS Reshetnev partner for Russian telecommunications satellites; and by Russia’s Radio Research and Development Institute (NIIR), RSCC said.

The ISS Reshetnev/Thales Alenia Space team had been tentatively selected to build the satellites in May following a competition that included bids from RSC Energia and Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center. The winning bid, valued at 11.879 billion Russian rubles, or around $373 million, was 10 percent less expensive than the competitors’ offers, RSCC said at the time of the selection.

Both satellites are scheduled for launch in 2012 aboard Russian Proton rockets. Each will provide 14 kilowatts of power to the payload and is designed to operate in geostationary orbit for 15 years to provide digital television, high-speed data and government mobile communications links.

Express-AM5 will operate from RSCC’s 140 degrees east orbital slot. It will carry 30 C-band, 40 Ku-band, 12 Ka-band and two L-band transponders.

Express-AM6 will be stationed at 53 degrees east and will carry 44 Ku-band, 14 C-band, 12 Ka-band and two L-band transponders.