Communications satellite services provider Intelsat has signed satellite launch contracts worth $390m with SpaceX and Arianespace. 

As part of this contract, Intelsat will launch four of its satellites on two SpaceX Falcon 9 rockets and two more satellites on the Ariane 5 rocket starting 2022. 

The company has contracted both SpaceX and Arianespace for the final seventh satellite to avoid any launch delay. 

Earlier this year, Intelsat announced contracts with US-based Maxar Technologies and Northrop Grumman to manufacture six satellites.  

The satellites and launches are part of Intelsat’s C-band spectrum ‘transition plan’, which was ordered by the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC). 

Intelsat filed its final C-band spectrum transition plan with the FCC on 14 August. 

It also signed a formal agreement with Maxar to develop the final satellite, which will support its C-band transition.  

Intelsat chief services officer Mike DeMarco said: “We have made exceptional progress to date in executing our transition plan.  

“We’re moving forward at an accelerated pace to clear portions of the C-band spectrum and help cement America’s leadership in 5G.” 

“We’re committed to maintaining this momentum, and we look forward to collaborating with our longstanding partners, Maxar, Northrop Grumman, SpaceX and Arianespace, on these important contracts to ensure we can continue to provide the high-quality, uninterrupted television, radio and data services that more than 100 million American homes and businesses have come to rely upon.” 

In March, Intelsat selected SpaceX to launch its next-generation Intelsat 40e (IS-40e) geostationary satellite aboard SpaceX’s American-built Falcon 9 launch vehicle in 2022.