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Thales Alenia Space ETCA will supply 50% of the electronics for the next 35 Ariane 5's

08 June 2009

Cannes, June 8, 2009 - Thales Alenia Space ETCA has just signed a contract with the Astrium company to provide electronic equipment and services for the Ariane 5 launchers (PB batch) which will be launched between 2011 and 2015. This batch will include 35 ECA-type launchers (with cryogenic upper stage) capable of putting a mass of up to 10 tonnes into geostationary orbit. This contract confirms the confidence placed by Astrium and Arianespace in Thales Alenia Space ETCA, which has been a partner of these 2 companies for 30 years, and constitutes the largest single contract ever signed by the company.

Thales Alenia Space ETCA will design and manufacture 21 electronic modules for each of the 35 launchers of the PB batch. These modules will serve to distribute the electricity on board the launcher, guide it by controlling the position of the jet nozzles, transmit the stage separation orders for the launcher and the nose cone protecting the satellites and, finally, to give the self-destruct order for the launcher were it to go off course.

Thales Alenia Space ETCA will also assume responsibility for manufacturing and for processing obsolescences of components for 2 electronic boards of the inertial guidance systems of Ariane 5. These boards make it possible to calculate in real time the position of the launcher and the evolution of its velocity.

At the same time, Thales Alenia Space ETCA will continue to handle the maintenance, operation and continuity of the command and control and computer systems (control benches) of the launch equipment for the next Ariane 5´s.

This includes maintaining in operating condition the IT systems for integrating the launcher, assuring the launch campaigns and developing methods and systems which make it possible to continuously improve the safety, availability and reliability of the launches.

These operations are conducted by a team of 20 employees of Thales Alenia Space ETCA who are based permanently in Kourou, at the Ariane 5 launch base in French Guiana.

Thales Alenia Space ETCA is also preparing

* A partnership with Astrium concerning the entire Electrical and Software System (ESS) of the Ariane 5 launcher in order to validate the evolutions of the launcher in progress and process the future evolutions. The ESS covers the backup, power distribution, piloting and remote measurement systems ;
* More reliable electronics, with the Sabca, for controlling the cryogenic upper stage for Ariane 5 Midellife Evolution (ME).

Note to editors
30 years of history with Ariane.

Thales Alenia Space ETCA has been providing control benches to Arianespace since the 1970´s. It has also been producing electronic modules for the Ariane 4 and 5 programmes since the end of the 1980´s, i.e. nearly 1150 modules delivered up to the present.

In 2008, Thales Alenia Space ETCA produced 127 modules for Ariane 5 and successfully conducted, with the other teams based in Kourou, six Ariane 5 launch campaigns.

About Thales Alenia Space ETCA
Thales Alenia Space ETCA is the largest Belgian manufacturer of space electronics, the European leader in electrical power systems for satellites and the no. 1 supplier of electronics for the Ariane 5 launcher. It also provides equipment for the Russian Soyuz launcher. Also specialised in the sectors of telecommunications and security, this company employs nearly 650 people at its Charleroi site. Thales Alenia Space has a second Belgian subsidiary, Thales Alenia Space Antwerp, which is located in Hoboken and specialises in satellite transmissions.

About Thales Alenia Space
European leader in satellite systems and a major player in orbital infrastructures, Thales Alenia Space is a joint venture between Thales (67 %) and Finmeccanica (33 %). Along with Telespazio, Thales Alenia Space forms a space alliance between the two groups. The company today has affirmed itself as a global reference in the areas of telecommunications, radar and optical observation of the Earth, defence and security, navigation and sciences. Thales Alenia Space employs 7200 people on 11 industrial sites in France, Italy, Spain and Belgium.

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