Thales Alenia Space ETCA will provide electronic equipment and services for the next batch of 35 Ariane 5 launch vehicles for Astrium.

Under the contract, 21 electronic modules will be designed and built by Thales Alenia for each of the cryogenic evolution type A (ECA) launchers.

The Ariane 5 ECA is a heavy-lift launcher that can launch two payloads weighing about 10t on a geostationary orbit.

The electronic equipment will distribute the electricity on board the launcher, control the position of the jet nozzles, and transmit the stage separation orders for the launcher and the nose cone protecting satellites.

The module can also give a self-destruct order should a launcher go off course.

Thales Alenia Space will further process obsolete components for two electronic boards of the inertial guidance systems of Ariane 5 that calculate the real-time position of the craft and the evolution of its velocity.

The company may partner with Astrium and Sabca to undertake various aspects of developing the Ariane 5 in the future.

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Thales Alenia Space is a joint venture between Thales (67%) and Finmeccanica (33%).