Eutelsat Communications has awarded Thales Alenia Space the contract for the W3B communications satellite. As prime contractor, the company will be in charge of the design, manufacturing, test and delivery of the satellite. Planned for a launch during the second quarter of 2010, the satellite will provide broadcast and telecommunications services over Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Designed with a lifetime of more than 15 years, W3B will provide three Ka-band and 53 Ku-band transponders. It will be equipped with three deployable and two fixed antennas, have a maximum launch mass of 5.4 tons and will deliver more than 12 kW of electrical power at the end of life.

"We are very pleased to have been selected once again by Eutelsat to provide this new powerful satellite," said Pascale Sourisse, president and CEO of Thales Alenia Space. "This new contract reinforces the long-lasting partnership that has existed between our companies for more than 20 years as W3B is the 18th satellite ordered by Eutelsat from Thales Alenia Space."