Our Bureau

Bangalore, June 21

ANTRIX, the commercial arm of the Department of Space, and EADS Astrium of France have announced a plan to jointly market communications satellites globally.

They signed a MoA at the Paris air show to market satellites with a launch mass of 2-3 tonnes and payload power below four KW.

This would mean that ISRO would make the satellites at its Bangalore satellite centre, ISAC, which has the capability for `3K buses' or three-tonne satellites such as the recent Edusat and Insat-3A.

Its European partner is known for its strong payloads and international marketing prowess. An ISRO spokesman told Business Line that it may need just a few small changes for standardisation to suit EADS Astrium's and operator's needs, which may take a year.

"Satellites in this segment represent a sizeable and stable part of the world market," the two majors said in a joint release. "The aim of this co-operation is to optimise the INSAT 2K and 3K platforms along with EADS Astrium payloads. The Antrix-EADS Astrium alliance will have all the ingredients to be successful on this market, offering mature, flexible and cost effective solution to operators' requests."

The MoA was signed by Mr K.R. Sridhara Murthi, Executive Director, Antrix Corporation Ltd, and Mr Antoine Bouvier, Chairman, EADS Astrium. ISRO's technology has a wide range of applications from telecom, broadcasting and meteorological services, to resources monitoring and management.

The national agency has also developed launch vehicles PSLV and GSLV. EADS Astrium, a European civil, military and earth observation satellite major, is a wholly owned subsidiary of EADS Space.

A few years back, ISRO entered into a similar marketing arrangement with European launch major, Arianespace, for its 2-tonne PSLV launch vehicles.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated June 22, 2005)
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