Planned for launch in 2012, Alphasat I-XL will be carried by an Ariane 5 ECA in from the Guiana Space Center, Europe's spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana
The satellite will be built by Astrium using an Alphabus platform, and will weigh more than 6,000kg at launch. The new-generation Alphasat I-XL will be positioned at 25 degrees East, and will join Inmarsat's current satellite fleet of 11 geostationary satellites to offer advanced mobile voice and data communications services across Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Its design life is 15-years
Arianespace and Inmarsat have an established relationship reaching back to the launch of the first Inmarsat satellites. The UK-based company has chosen Arianespace to launch five of its satellites
Commenting on this latest contract, Arianespace chairman and chief executive Jean-Yves Le Gall said: "Just a few days after the magnificent launch of ESA's two scientific satellite, Herschel and Planck, we are both proud and honored to once again be working with ESA on a project that supports the deployment of very powerful payloads. We would also like to thank Inmarsat for their loyalty to Arianespace over the last 28 years. This is the eighth contract we have signed in 2009 with the world's leading operators, clear recognition of the quality and competitiveness of our launch Service & Solutions."