Russia has made its first payment for their two spacecraft, Express-80 and Express-103 that are designed with electric propulsion as well as a payload power of 6.3 kilowatts. The satellites are scheduled to be orbited in the third quarter of 2019.
The satellites will be placed in the 80 degree and 103 degree E orbital slots, respectively. The mission of the Express-80 and Express-103 satellites is to provide communications and broadcasting services in the C- and Ku-bands over the territory of Russia and CIS countries.
In June 2016, RSCC signed a contract with JSC ISS Reshetnev Company for delivery of spacecraft platforms for the two satellites. Another contract was signed with Thales Alenia Space to build payloads for them. The initial contractual payment by the customer has been made on December 28, 2016.
RSCC is having the two spacecraft built using financial support of (Russia’s largest) savings bank (the “Sberbank”), which provided a loan to fund activities under the contract with the Reshetnev Company. Also, under the terms of a credit agreement, another bank, the Alfa-Bank, is providing the funding to build payloads for the Express-80 and Express-103 spacecraft.