Airbus has won the prime contractor order from Eutelsat for its E-36D satellite replacement for Eutelsat 36B which is likely to reach the end of its working life during 2026, some 17 years after its launch in November 2009 (and was previously known as Eutelsat W7 and with a 15-year design life). 36D is planned to launch in 2024
With coverage of Africa, Russia and Europe, 36° East is a key orbital slot for Eutelsat, ranking third in terms of overall revenue generation, after 13° East (HOTBIRD) and 7/8° West, and second for Government Services, with an exceptional fill rate reflecting the ongoing robust demand in its footprint. Its two existing satellites, Eutelsat 36B and Eutelsat 36C, together notably support the broadcast businesses of major anchor customers including Multichoice and ZAP in Africa and Tricolor and NTV+ in Russia.
Eutelsat says: “With 70 physical Ku-band transponders, the all-electric EUTELSAT 36D will assure all the main legacy missions of EUTELSAT 36B, with enhancements to coverage areas and performance. Based on the state-of-the-art Airbus Eurostar Neo platform, it combines increased payload capacity and more efficient power and thermal control systems with reduced production time and optimised costs.”
Because it is an all-electric craft Eutelsat 36D will take around five to six months to reach its target orbital position after launch.
Pascal Homsy, Eutelsat’s CTO said: “We are delighted to rely once again on one of our longstanding partners, Airbus, to assure this critical satellite programme. This new state-of-the-art satellite will assure enhanced service continuity for our key DTH customers in the major markets of Africa and Russia.”