The alliance between EADS Astrium and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to market 2/3t-class satellites has scored its first success, and will deliver the W2M satellite to European operator Eutelsat Communications for launch in the second quarter of 2008.

A contract will be signed this month by French president Jacques Chirac and Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh. EADS will be prime contractor for the 3t satellite, and build the Ku-band communications payload. ISRO will build, integrate and test the 3t satellite.

Financial details are not available, but the deal is a boost for Bangalore-based Antrix, the commercial arm of ISRO, which tried to forge marketing alliances with Boeing and Lockheed Martin before agreeing the tie-up with EADS in June 2005.

n EADS Astrium is to supply the Algerian National Space Technology Centre with two Earth observation satellites, two ground-control segments and one imaging station. The 150kg (330lb) satellites will provide 2.5m (8.2ft)-resolution panchromatic and 10m multispectral images.

Source: Flight International