Eutelsat’s W7 satellite will launch in to orbit atop an International Launch Services Proton launch vehicle according to a new contract signed between the two companies.

The 5,600kg W7 with its 70 transponders will provide coverage of Russia and sub-Saharan Africa for digital broadcasting services, including pay-TV, and add flexibility for growing markets in central Asia.

The satellite will replace Eutelsat’s SESAT 1 satellite and assume all traffic on the 18-transponder SESAT which will continue commercial service at an alternative location.

W7 will also complement the W4 satellite to double the capacity available within a key neighborhood among the fleet of geostationary satellites and provide enhanced coverage.

The W7 satellite has been built by Thales Alenia Space, based on the Spacebus 4000 C4 platform with a design life of 15 years.

The satellite will lift off on Proton, a heavy-lift launcher built by ILS and Khrunichev Research and Production Space Centre.

Presently, the satellite is being prepared for its delivery to the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan for its scheduled mid-November 2009 launch.