The Russian communications and broadcasting satellite Express-AM6 has been launched into orbit from Baikonur.

Deployed into geostationary orbit at 53 degrees East and expected to be made operational in Q1 next year, it will provide coverage of European Russia, the Urals and Western Siberia, as well as the Middle East, Europe and Africa.

Express-AM6 was commissioned by the Russian Satellite Communications Company (RSCC) and built by Reshetnev ISS of Russia in association with Canadian-based MDA and Russian NIIR. It has 72 C-, Ku-, Ka- and L- bands transponders, with a combined capacity of over 2,700 MHz, and a service life of 15 years.

Commenting on the launch, Yuri Prokhorov, general director of RSCC, said: “It would not be much of an exaggeration to say that the launch of the Express-AM6 is the most anticipated event of the year in the satellite industry. With the new satellite in action, the overarching task of broadcasting nationwide television programs from Kaliningrad to Irkutsk will be addressed.

“The Express-AM6 has been built under the Federal Target Program ‘Development of TV and Radio Broadcasting in Russia in 2009-2015′. The first satellite produced in the context of this Federal Target Program is Express-AM5 and it has been servicing the consumer needs in the Far East and Siberia since April 2014. Another two spacecraft – Express-AM7 and AM8 – are expected to be launched in the first quarter of next year. Thus, continuous high- quality broadcasting service will be secured for the first, second and subsequent federal multiplexes throughout Russia”.