In a sign that India still intends to compete in the commercial launch market, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has announced the signing of a commercial Launch Services Agreement between its commercial arm, Antrix, and the European satellite manufacturer Astrium, for the launch of the European remote sensing spacecraft, Spot 6. The 800 kg Spot 6 spacecraft is being built by Astrium SAS and will be launched by the strap-on-less Core Alone (CA) variant of ISRO's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) during the second half of 2012.Some other undisclosed satellites will also be carried on this flight as co-payloads. Indian media sources reports that the launch contract announced was valued at circa100 crore Rupees ($19.6 million).
This Launch Services Agreement is a part of a cooperation deal between the two organisations. A Long Term Agreement was signed between Astrium and Antrix/ISRO in September 2008. This cooperation is not restricted to satellite launches. Astrium and Antrix/ISRO successfully constructed the Hylas 1 commercial commuications satellite together. While Astirum was prime contractor, Hylas 1 used the ISRO-designed I-2K bus as its platform. Hylas 1 was successfully launched in November 2010 and is now being operated by the satellite communications firm, Avanti.