A German military communications satellite has arrived in French Guiana begin the prelaunch processing before blasting off the upcoming Ariane 5 flight scheduled for later this month.

COMSATBw-1 is a German military satellite that will provide network-centric operations to German forces.

The relay platform will handle secure information for use in deployed missions such as voice, fax, data, video and multimedia applications.

The satellite built by Astrium weighs 2,500kg at lift-off and has a design life of 15 years.

Part of the German military programme’s space segment, the satellite will operate in a geostationary orbit and provide communication services over an area stretching from America to eastern Asia.

The Ariane-5 rocket will also carry another payload, the Amazonas 2 satellite, along with COMSATBw-1 during its upcoming launch this month.

The military satellite has been transferred to the spaceport’s payload preparation facility, which is designed to provide total security in the processing of such sensitive satellites.