RSCC Plans Three Further Satellites
[Via Satellite 10-22-13] The Russian Satellite Communications Company (RSCC) is ready to commission three new satellites. The company hopes to complete the tender process by the end of January 2014 for one big satellite and two medium-sized satellites.
The biggest satellite of the three will be Express AMU2 SC, expected to cost 5.8 billion Russian Rubles ($181.64 million). The spacecraft will carry 80 equivalent C- and Ku-band transponders and it will be optimized for the 103 degrees east orbital slot. However, the actual position of the satellite on the geostationary orbit may be anywhere within the arc segment between 14 degrees west and as far as 145 degrees east. The Express AMU2 SC service life is expected to be at least 15 years, and the satellite will likely launch in 2016.
RSCC is also planning two smaller satellites – the Express AMU3 and Express AMU4. Both of these satellites are likely to carry around 30-35 C-band transponders each, and are also likely to be launched in the 2016-2017 timeframe. The Express AMU3 satellite will be located the 96.5 degrees east orbital location and the Express AMU-4 will be located the 11 degrees west orbital location.
Given its commitments to launch satellites over the next 12 months, RSCC in theory could have 10 new satellites in orbit by 2017, transforming into an even more major player than it is now.
The announcement of these three new spacecraft is part of RSCC’s aggressive capital expenditure plan for new satellites. At SatComRus in Dubna last week, Yuri Prokhorov, RSCC’s director general, said the operator’s long term plan is to be the fifth ranked FSS operator in terms of revenue by 2020.
The company is set for a busy year in 2014, and is expected to launch seven satellites between December this year and 2014. It will start with the launch of the Express AM5 – slated for a December 2013 launch – which will be located at the140 degrees east orbital location. And next year the company plans to launch six satellites: the Express AT1 at 56 degrees east, Express AT2 at 140 degrees east, Express AM6 at 53 degrees east, Express AM4R at 80 degrees east, Express AM8 at 14 degrees west, and the Express AM7 at 40 degrees east. RSCC also hopes to launch the Express-AMU1 satellite at the 36 degrees east orbital location in 2015.