Russian space agency Roscosmos has launched two telecommunication satellites, AMOS-5 and Loutch-5A, onboard a Proton-M carrier rocket from the Baikonur space centre in Kazakhstan.

Reshetnev Company designed and manufactured the Amos-5 satellite, which is based on ISS Reshetnev’s Express 1000H unpressurised platform, for the Israeli operator Space Communication with a service span of 15 years.

AMOS-5 carries 36 C and Ku-band transponders and will provide communication, broadcasting and broadband services over Africa and Israel.

Spacecom, operator of the AMOS satellite fleet, said that AMOS-5 will join the satellite grouping of AMOS-2 and AMOS-3 to provide satellite services to the Middle East, Central and Eastern Europe, and Central Asia and Africa.

Spacecom will undertake control of the AMOS-5 from the manufacturer Reshetnev and the satellite will undergo a sequence of in-orbit tests.

Spacecom president and CEO David Pollack said: "AMOS-5’s launch further transforms Spacecom into a leading multi-regional satellite operator and is truly a landmark event for the company as it prepares to bring reliable high-quality services to Africa.

"The satellite will offer excellent coverage and ready capacity to a rapidly growing region. Spacecom is excited and looks forward to providing comprehensive and quality communications solutions to Africa."

Spacecom pre-sold over 55% of AMOS-5’s capacity to different customers before the launch, including broadcasters, telecom providers, communications companies and government agencies.

Loutch-5A was designed and manufactured by Reshetnev Information Satellite Systems within the scope of the Federal Space Program for 2006-15.

Loutch-5A, which is based on ISS Reshetnev’s Express 1000 unpressurised platform, will provide communications between ground control segments and low-orbiting spacecraft, launching vehicles and their upper stages.

The satellite will also receive and transmit KOSPAS-SARSAT distress signals, meteorological data, navigation signals as well as data from the International Space Station.