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Astrium to provide operations and maintenance solution to UAE's Yahsat system

Stevenage, 22 February 2011

* Astrium Services signs five year contract with Yahsat for a comprehensive support solution covering operations, maintenance and logistics.
* Through its range of Paradigm services, the contract covers support in network operations and maintenance, technical support and training.

Astrium Services has signed end-2010 a five year contract for tens of millions euros with Al Yah Satellite Communications Company PrJsc (Yahsat) to provide comprehensive support to manage and control the operations, training and maintenance of the Civil Ground and Management Segments of the UAE’s Armed Forces new, state-of-the-art, military satellite communications system.

Through its range of Paradigm services, Astrium will be prime contractor for the support in Operations and Maintenance of the Yahsat system, and will use its unique expertise in network operations, customer services, and logistical support to ensure that the system is successfully brought into service. The system will then be capable of delivering state-of-the-art services to the UAE’s Armed Forces throughout its lifetime.

“This is a hugely significant contract for Astrium, reinforcing our reputation as a world leading military satellite services’ company. It is a testament to our strength in providing expert, managed, military satellite communications solutions through our range of Paradigm services.” said Eric Béranger, CEO of Astrium Services. “Our Paradigm team will bring all the attributes and quality they’ve built up on the UK MoD’s Skynet 5 programme into developing the UAE’s Armed Forces expertise in Milsatcom service delivery”.

“It has been a great honour to develop a satellite communications solution to support our nation’s defences and promote broader regional security,” said Rashed Al Ghafri, General Manager of YahService. “The system Yahsat has worked to create is a flagship programme for the United Arab Emirates’ Armed Forces. Obviously, successful operations and maintenance of the system will be critical for its future success. We are therefore very pleased to have the experience and support of Paradigm in delivering our operations and maintenance services and look forward to working with them over the next 5 years.”

Transfer of skills and capabilities will be a key part of the contract, and therefore Astrium Services will be developing and delivering a comprehensive training programme. Under the Skynet 5 programme, its Paradigm team has already conducted 30,000 hours of training to UK MoD personnel.

Through the long-standing expertise developed with its range of Paradigm services, Astrium has a unique heritage in Milsatcom services as the world’s first and largest commercial operator of secure military satellites on the Skynet 5 programme for the UK Ministry of Defence. It’s been prime contractor on the Skynet 5 programme since 2003, a very successful programme, both commercially and operationally, taking many of the technical and service risks away from the customer. Astrium Services will draw on its experience and capability to meet Yahsat’s requirements of high levels of service assurance, service delivery and robustness.

About Astrium

Astrium, a wholly owned subsidiary of EADS, is dedicated to providing civil and defence space systems and services. In 2009, Astrium had a turnover of $6.7 billion and more than 15,000 employees in France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain and the Netherlands. Its three main areas of activity are Astrium Space Transportation for launchers and orbital infrastructure, Astrium Satellites for spacecraft and ground segment, and Astrium Services for comprehensive end-to-end value-added solutions covering secure and commercial satcoms and networks, high security satellite communications equipment, bespoke geo-information and navigation services worldwide.

EADS is a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services. In 2009, the Group – comprising Airbus, Astrium, Cassidian and Eurocopter– generated revenues of $60 billion and employed a workforce of more than 119,000.

About Yahsat

Yahsat, incorporated in January 2007, is a satellite communications company initiated and owned by Mubadala Development Company, Abu Dhabi government’s strategic investment and development vehicle. Yahsat will offer a wide portfolio of voice, data, video and internet connectivity solutions designed to accommodate the demand for emerging applications in the satellite industry like HDTV and other broadband satellite services.

In August 2007, Yahsat gave the go-ahead for the consortium of Astrium and Thales Alenia Space to construct Yahsat’s hybrid satellites system. The entire manufacturing stage will take place in Europe and will take approximately 36 months to be completed. Yahsat is partnering with Arianespace for the launch of Yahsat’s first satellite Y1A in the first quarter of 2011, which will be positioned at 52.5° East. Yahsat’s second satellite, Y1B, will be launched in the second half of 2011 by International Launch Services (ILS) on a Proton Breeze M vehicle.

Press contacts:
Daniel Mosely
Astrium United Kingdom
Tel.: +44 14 38.77 81 80
Fax: +44 14 38.77 30 69

Matthieu Duvelleroy
Astrium France
Tel.: +33 1.77 75 80 32
Fax: +33 1.77 75 80 18

Ralph Heinrich
Astrium Germany
Tel.: +49.89 60 73 39 71
Fax: +49.89 60 72 97 65

Francisco Lechon
Astrium Spain
Tel.: +34 91.5 86 37 41
Fax: +34 91.5 86 37 82

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