Published: 08.18 Europe/London, April 13, 2011 by Robert Briel

SES has announced today that it has chosen Arianespace for the launch of its Astra 2E satellite. The new satellite will be launched in the second quarter of 2013, and will be positioned at 28.2 degrees East, from where it will deliver high-power broadcast services across all of Europe and Africa.

Astra 2E will be built by Astrium using a Eurostar E3000 platform, and will be fitted with active Ku-band and Ka-band transponders. Its designed life time is 15 years. The satellite will be placed into orbit by an Ariane 5 launcher from the Guiana Space Center, Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana.

The launch of Astra 2E is part of a larger fleet replacement and expansion programme that also includes the procurement and launch of the Astra 2F, Astra 2G and Astra 5B satellites. The new satellites are due to launch in several steps between 2012 and 2014, and will allow the release of the existing satellites at two orbital positions (28.2 and 31.5 degrees East) and add new capacity. as well as fleet deployment flexibility for SES over the coming years.

The launch of Astra 2E by an Ariane 5 launcher is part of a multi-launch agreement with Arianespace. In addition to Astra 2E, SES has also contracted the launch of ASTRA 1N and SES 2, both scheduled for launch in 2011, with Arianespace.