Arianespace has used Euroconsult’s Paris conference to announce it had won a 4-launch contract from DirecTV to place new DTH satellites into orbit. Two of the orders are firm, while the other two are currently in the shape of options.
All four satellites will weigh in at over 6 metric tonnes and will be a part of a fleet expansion and replenishment program. The new satellites will strengthen DirecTV’s (DTH) digital entertainment services across the USA and, if the options are exercised, Latin America by increasing high-definition channel capacity, adding more 3D channels, and greatly expanding the DirecTV Cinema movies experience.
The satellites will be launched on Ariane 5 from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana in 2014. DirecTV-14 is currently being built by Space Systems LORAL of California. The DirecTV-15 satellite is in the final stages of contract award.
“DirecTV is pleased to be back with Arianespace and its high performance and highly reliable ARIANE-5 launch vehicle services,” said Romulo Pontual, CTO at DirecTV. “We have the utmost confidence in this system’s design and in the depth of the organization behind this rocket. We have a long standing relationship with Arianespace and we are happy to build upon that foundation of success.”