26 October 2017: Inmarsat and Arianespace today announced the signing of the launch contract for Inmarsat’s Global Xpress-5 (GX-5) very high throughput communications satellite.
The satellite will be orbited by an Ariane 5 heavy-lift launcher from the Guiana Space Center, Europe’s spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, during the second half of 2019.
A very high throughput satellite (V-HTS), GX-5 will offer services covering the Middle East, Europe and the Indian sub-continent. The payload will be fully integrated into Inmarsat’s current GX high-speed network.
Inmarsat’s GX-5 satellite is based on Thales Alenia Space’s upgraded Spacebus 4000 B2 platform. GX-5 features a design life of 16 years and will weigh about four metric tons at launch, with a payload rated at approximately 6.8 kW of electrical power.
Arianespace Chief Executive Officer Stéphane Israël said: “With this new launch contract, we are very proud to continue our partnership with Inmarsat that dates back to 1981. We are honoured to have been selected for the tenth time by Inmarsat for the launch of the very high throughput satellite GX-5, only four months after we successfully launched the Hellas Sat 3-Inmarsat S EAN “condosat” with an Ariane 5.
“This renewed trust demonstrates the outstanding performance and reliability of our heavy-weight Ariane 5 launch vehicle, as well as its ability to respond to new broadband and in-flight connectivity demands today, even before the arrival of our new Ariane 6 heavy-lift launcher.”