The Russian Ministry of Communications and Mass Media (Minsvyaz) has announced the successful launch of the Express-AM8 satellite.

Located at 14 degrees West, it will cover the European part of Russia, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and for the first time ever for a Russian communications satellite Latin America.

Express-AM8 is equipped with C, Ku and L band transponders and has a lifetime of 15 years. It was funded from the state budget and built by Thales Alenia Space.

Russia plans a further satellite launch before the end of the year. It will be known as Express-AMU1 and provide broadcasting and telecom services to Russia, Europe and Africa.