The Russian Satellite Communications Company (RSCC) has confirmed that it has made initial payments to JSC ISS Reshetnev and Thales Alenia Space to build the Express 80 and Express 103 satellites.
RSCC confirmed the payments on Dec. 29. In June 2016, RSCC signed a contract with JSC ISS Reshetnev Company for delivery of spacecraft platforms for the two satellites. Another contract was signed with Thales Alenia Space to build payloads for them.
The two spacecraft, Express 80 and Express 103, are scheduled to be orbited in the third quarter of 2019. The satellites will be placed in the 80 degrees and 103 degrees east orbital slots, respectively. The mission of the Express-80 and Express 103 satellites is to provide communications and broadcasting services in the C- and Ku-bands over the territory of Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).
RSCC is having the two spacecraft built using financial support of one of Russia’s largest savings bank, the Sberbank, which provided a loan to fund activities under the contract with the Reshetnev Company. Also, under the terms of a credit agreement, another bank, the Alfa-Bank, is providing the funding to build payloads for the Express 80 and Express 103 spacecraft.
by Mark Holmes, Via Satellite