The Yamal-402 telecommunications satellite has been dispatched from Thales Alenia Space’s plant in Cannes, France and has arrived at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, ready for its scheduled launch on a Proton rocket on December 8, 2012. Thales Alenia Space is the program prime contractor on behalf of the Russian operator Gazprom Space Systems, and is in charge of the design, production, testing and turnkey delivery of the satellite and its ground segment.

Yamal-402 is part of Gazprom Space Systems' Yamal-400 program, comprising the Yamal-401 and -402 satellites and the associated ground segment. These new satellites will enable Gazprom Space Systems to continue its development, and in particular to expand the capacity of its fleet of telecom satellites, now fully booked.

Yamal-401 is being built by ISS-Reshetnev as prime contractor, and will be launched in 2013. Thales Alenia Space is providing the payload for this satellite, as well as avionics and power control equipment for the platform. The company is also prime contractor for the Yamal-402 satellite and its ground control system.

Fitted with 46 Ku-band transponders, Yamal-402's coverage zone includes Russia, the Commonwealth of Independent States, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. It is built on a Spacebus 4000C3 platform developed by Thales Alenia Space and will be positioned in geostationary orbit at 55° East. The satellite will weigh 4,500 kg at launch, and offers a design life exceeding 15 years.

"Thales Alenia Space has designed and built payloads and transponder assemblies for 25 Russian telecom satellites since the 1990s," said Nathalie Smirnov, Executive Vice President for Telecommunications at Thales Alenia Space. "We are delighted to be playing such a major role on the Yamal-400 program, including today's delivery of the advanced technology Yamal-402 satellite, following the delivery of its ground segment. The Yamal-400 program is proceeding very smoothly, reflecting the long-standing relationship with our partners, ISS Reshetnev and Gazprom Space Systems. And we are looking forward to teaming up with them on other programs in the future."