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Satnews Daily
June 20th, 2017

Airbus Goes With Arianespace and the VEGA C for NexGen Observation Satellites

Airbus Defence and Space and Arianespace have signed a launch services contract for the next-generation of very-high-resolution optical observation satellites.

Two VEGA C launchers will orbit the four satellites in this constellation from the Guiana Space Center in French Guiana, as from mid-2020. By delivering images of each point on the globe several times a day, these extremely-agile optical satellites will keep a close watch on our constantly-changing planet.

Airbus Defence and Space is the first commercial customer for the upcoming VEGA C launcher. This enhanced version of the VEGA lightweight vehicle, which continues its brilliant career with nine successful launches out of nine, is now under development with a first flight slated for mid-2019. Through this launch services contract, the higher-performance VEGA C version demonstrates that it provides a perfect launch solution for even the most advanced Earth Observation satellites.

Above all, the contract reflects the continued confidence of Airbus Defence and Space, which was the first commercial customer for the original VEGA version in May 2013, with the launch of the VNREDSat-1 satellite for Vietnam. Since then, Airbus Defence and Space has chosen Arianespace for many other VEGA missions.

François Lombard, head of the Intelligence Business Cluster at Airbus Defence and Space, commented that along with a new-generation ground segment that offers multi-mission and massive image processing capacity, this constellation will greatly expand access to higher-precision and more detailed images of Earth.

Chief Executive Officer Stéphane Israël reported that Arianespace is extremely proud to have won this first launch contract for the upcoming VEGA C launcher from the firm's long-standing customer and partner, Airbus Defence and Space and are also delighted to kick off the VEGA C’s commercial career with a contract reflecting Europe’s continued leadership in very-high-resolution optical observation systems.