Russia's Energia company has won a contract from Gaskom to build four Yamal 200 series communications satellites. Gaskom provides communications services for Russia's Gasprom gas industry.

A pair of NPO-PM-built Yamal 100 series communications satellites were launched on a Proton booster in September last year, with one spacecraft failing in orbit due to an electrical fault.

The uprated Yamal 200s will offer two-and-a-half times the communications capacity of the Yamal 100s. The first pair of Yamal 200 spacecraft will be launched on a Proton in mid-2002. Yamal 200 F1 will be located at 90dí E in geostationary orbit, replacing Yamal 102, and the F2 craft at 49í E - the location originally intended for Yamal 101 which failed.

The satellites will provide Gasprom with data, phone, fax, video teleconferencing services. Some of the communications payload may be supplied by Space Systems Loral.

Source: Flight International