Eutelsat 3B, currently being built by Astrium, will be orbited by the Sea Launch floating platform in April next year.
The order is a major achievement for Sea Launch which has suffered some problems with its Zenit launch rocket.
Eutelsat 3B will weigh some 6 tonnes at launch and serve Europe, Africa & the Middle East, Central Asia and parts of Latin America.
“This agreement represents a significant expression of customer confidence in Sea Launch program, both in our capability demonstrated to date as well as in our future ” said Sergey Gugkaev, chief executive officer of Sea Launch, Kjell Karlsen, president of Sea Launch, added, “We are very pleased with the confidence and trust placed in us by Eutelsat, and look forward to building upon the successful launches of Eutelsat spacecraft in 2011 and 2012.”
Michel de Rosen, Eutelsat CEO, added: “We look forward to working once again with the Sea Launch teams on the Eutelsat 3B mission following the successful launches of Eutelsat 70B in 2012 and Eutelsat 7 West A in 2011. This new contract increases the flexibility we need to pursue our in-orbit expansion plan of six new satellites by end 2015 that will diversify our overall resources, increase our operational flexibility and further raise in-orbit security.”