International Launch Services (ILS), a leading launch services provider for the global commercial satellite industry, successfully carried the BADR-5 satellite to geosynchronous transfer orbit June 4 on an ILS Proton for Arabsat of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

“It was an honor to be entrusted to launch BADR-5, a powerful satellite and the first of Arabsat’s 5th generation satellites to expand the communications capabilities for the region,” Frank McKenna, ILS president said. “Working with our long term partners at Astrium, Arabsat and Thales and our partner Khrunichev, this program was flawlessly coordinated from contract to launch. Our congratulations and thanks go out to the entire team for their tireless efforts and exceptional performance with this on time launch on ILS Proton. “

Arabsat is the largest satellite operator in the Middle East and North Africa and has been ranked the ninth largest satellite operator in the world.

This was the fourth ILS Proton launch and the 6th overall Proton launch this year. The BADR-5 satellite, built by EADS Astrium and Thales Alenia Space, was also the 23rd consecutive successful Proton launch in 23 months.

The ILS Proton Breeze M launched from Pad 39 at the Cosmodrome. After a nine-hour, 13-minute mission, the Breeze M successfully released the BADR-5 satellite, weighing 5420 kg, into geosynchronous transfer orbit.

This was the 357th launch for Proton since its inaugural flight in 1965, and the 60th ILS Proton launch overall. The Proton Breeze M launch vehicle was developed and built by Khrunichev Research and Production Space Center of Moscow, one of the pillars of the Russian space industry and the majority shareholder in ILS.

The BADR-5 satellite was built on Astrium’s E3000 platform with a Thales Alenia Space supplied communications payload. BADR-5 will be collocated with the BADR-4 and BADR-6 Direct-to-Home satellites at Arabsat’s 26 degrees East longitude video “hot spot”. BADR-5 will provide the highest level of service within the MENA region. The satellite carries 56 Ku-band transponders 4 Ka-band transponders and has been designed to have a minimum expected service time of 15 years.

“This was our 14th launch with ILS,” Evert Dudok, CEO of Astrium Satellites, said. “Our experience with ILS and Khrunichev over the years has clearly demonstrated that they are a high performing team. As a world leader in telecommunication satellites, we are particularly pleased to be a key part of this important new step for this Arabsat mission of expansion and growth.”

“The launch of BADR-5 on ILS Proton was a significant event, kicking off the expansion of our fleet with the first of the new 5th generation Arabsat satellites with an unprecedented service for the MENA region,” Khalid Balkheyour, Arabsat president and CEO said. ” A special thank you to our collective teams at ILS, Khrunichev, Astrium and Thales. This satellite was launched on-time with perfect execution and will support our leadership role in the providing telecommunication services to the Arab world.”