This celebration takes on a special meaning for Arianespace. Something accomplished after decades of satisfied clients.
During its annual Japan Week event in Tokyo, Arianespace is celebrating 30 years of partnership with Japanese operators and manufacturers, and 30 contracts for launches into geostationary orbit, as it continues to confirm its leadership in the commercial launch market in Japan. Arianespace will also conduct two launches for Sky Perfect JSAT in 2016.
Arianespace opened its Tokyo office in 1986. The first Japanese commercial telecommunications satellite, JCSAT-1, was orbited by Arianespace on March 6, 1989 for the operator Sky Perfect JSAT Corporation.
Arianespace has launched 27 geostationary satellites to date for Japanese operators. Five satellites built in Japan have been orbited by Arianespace as well, three built by Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (MELCO) and two by NEC TOSHIBA Space Systems Corporation (now NEC Space Technologies).
Arianespace's launch manifest for 2016 includes two satellites for Sky Perfect JSAT, to be launched by Ariane 5 ECA.
With 30 contracts signed in 30 years, Arianespace has launched 75 percent of Japan's commercial satellites, confirming its leadership in this market and its status as a major partner recognized for its reliability, availability and proven ability to develop solutions custom-tailored to customer specifications.
Arianespace signed its 30th launch contract with Japan in 2015, for the BSAT-4a satellite. Built by SSL of the United States as part of a turnkey contract with the Japanese operator Broadcasting Satellite System Corporation (B-SAT), the satellite will be launched by an Ariane 5 in the second half of 2017.
In 2015 Arianespace rose to the operational challenge of carrying out 12 missions from the Guiana Space Center (CSG), orbiting 21 satellites for 14 customers. At the same time, Arianespace continued to adapt its launch services offering to market requirements, enabling it to set an all-time record for orders booked during the year, worth over 2.5 billion euros.
Building on this operational and business success, Arianespace kicks off 2016 with the same determination. With two successful launches already under its belt, both using the Ariane 5 heavy launcher, Arianespace is once again aiming to carry out 12 launches during the calendar year: eight with Ariane 5 (which would be a new record for this launcher), two with Soyuz and two with Vega.
Arianespace has already signed three new contracts since the beginning of the year:
- Two COMSAT NG satellites, for launch by Ariane 5: a contract with customers Thales Alenia Space and Airbus Defence and Space on behalf of the French defense procurement agency DGA.
- CERES mission, for French space agency CNES as customer, also on behalf of the DGA.
- 2 ViaSat satellites, for the customer ViaSat Inc.
- This dynamic business performance increases the backlog of Arianespace launch orders to nearly 5.4 billion euros for 58 launches: 23 by Ariane 5, 25 by Soyuz and 10 by Vega.
Even before the end of the year, Arianespace is considering the start of marketing for Vega-C and Ariane 6, Europe's new launch vehicles, slated for inaugural flights in 2019 and 2020, respectively. As part of the revamped governance of the launcher industry, Arianespace continues to focus on building foundations for the future and developing innovative solutions to deliver the best possible service to its customers.
During his visit to Japan, Arianespace Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Stéphane Israël said, "We are always proud and delighted to visit our Japanese hosts during our traditional Japan Week. Whether private or government customers, satellite or launcher manufacturers, we are all partners in a shared endeavor, namely using space for a better life on Earth. As we celebrate the 30th anniversary of our Tokyo office, and the 30th contract signed in this country, I wanted to reaffirm our joint commitment to continuing and strengthening this partnership, to ensure the shared success of all upcoming missions. Our two launches scheduled in 2016 for Sky Perfect JSAT clearly confirm the strength of our long-standing presence in Japan."