Astrium will provide four multimission satellites to SES to provide replacements and increase capacity for its SES ASTRA and SES WORLD SKIES satellites.

The new satellites, to be named ASTRA 2E, ASTRA 2F, ASTRA 2G and ASTRA 5B, will replace existing satellites, add new capacity and provide fleet deployment flexibility for the SES group in future.

The spacecraft, based on Astrium’s Eurostar E3000 platform, will supply coverage for SES Astra in the UK and Irish markets and improve coverage of Eastern Europe as well as enable SES WORLD SKIES to extend coverage to Africa and the Middle East.

ASTRA 2E, ASTRA 2F and ASTRA 2G equipped with Ku and Ka-band transponders will deliver next-generation broadcast, VSAT and broadband services in Europe and Africa at 28.2° east.

ASTRA 5B, to be placed in orbital position 31.5° east, will extend SES ASTRA’s transponder capacity and geographical reach over Eastern European and neighbouring markets for DTH, direct-to-cable (DTC) and contribution feeds to digital terrestrial television (DTT) networks.

The satellite deal is worth over $500m and each of the satellites will have a design life of 15 years.