Russia will orbit three new Express-class communication satellites this year. State-owned Russian Satellite Communications Co (RSCC) deputy CEO Yevgeniy Buydinov told news agency TASS that the first, Express-AM7 (to 40 degrees East) would launch in mid-March. The second, Express-AM8 (14 degrees West) a couple of weeks later, and the third Express-AMU1 (to 36 degrees East) would launch before the end of the year.
RSCC currently has 11 satellites in its fleet. The ‘Express’ fleet serves DTH, communications and internet connectivity over Russia and 35 other countries further afield from 14 deg West to 140 deg East. Major clients include Tricolor TV and NTV-Plus.
RSCC is on an ambitious programme to become one of the industry’s Top 5 players in satellite communications by 2020.