Within the framewrok of TV/Audio Casting Development in Russia in 2009 – 2015, A Federal Target-oriented Program, RSCC shall be responsible for setting up the space segment of the TV/audio casting network, which task implies building the Express AM5, AM6, AM7 and AM8 spacecraft.
In compliance with the above program, 13.0 billion rubles of subsidies have been allocated to RSCC from the federal budget for purchasing Express AM5 and Express AM6 in 2010 and 2011. The company have implemented all their commitments subject to a contract for the design, development and building of the two spacecraft and have been fully subsidized by the federal budget as planned to compensate for the company’s expenditures incurred.
The building of the two satellites is under way at the cooperating manufacturers including MDA, Canada and the Russian companies Reshetnev ISS, NIIR and Russian Space Systems. The placement of Express AM5 into its orbital slot at 140° E is scheduled for the late 2012 – early 2013 and Express AM6 is to be positioned at 53° E in mid-2013.
Design work aimed at creating the Express AM8 spacecraft was under way in 2011 subject to the contracts signed, the total cost of the spacecraft being about 4 billion rubles. This project is financed by sources other than the state budget. Two cooperating companies – Reshetnev ISS, Russia and Thales Alenia Space, France have been building the satellite. It is to be launched and drifted to 14° W by the end of 2013.
As of 1 May 2012, the degree of readiness of Express AM5 and Express AM6 is 82 % and 65 %, respectively, whereas Express AM8 is 40 % ready.
In the wake of the failed Express AM4 launch on 18 August 2011, the Ministry of Communications and Mass Media and the Russian Space Agency adopted the Decision on Ensuring Creation and Launch of Express AM4R (a replacement of Express AM4) and Express AM7 Heavy-lift Communications/Broadcasting Spacecraft. This decision provides for the placement by RSCC of an order with EADS Astrium for two communication/broascasting satellites identical to Express AM4 to be injected to GSO in 2014. The contracts for the two satellites were signed in December 2011. Express AM4R and Express AM7 are to be positioned in the 80° E and 40° E slots, respectively. As of 1 May, their availability is estimated at 20 % and 7 %, respectively.
Thus the fullfilment of the action items planned will ensure setting up the Nation-wide Distribution Architecture for Delivery of Packages of Mandatory Publicly Available TV/Audio Channels (Multipexes) within the framewrok of the Federal Target-oriented Program by 2015. This architecture approved by RSCC and RTRN will make use of
Express AM6 (53° E) and Express AM7 (40° E) to beam onto Broadcast Zones M (M) and G [Г]
Express AM4R (80° E) and Express AM33 (96.5° E) to beam onto Broadcast Zone V [B] and retransmitting to Broadcast Zones A (A) and B [Б]
Express AM5 (140° E) and Express MD2 (145° E) to beam onto Broadcast Zones A (A) and B [Б]
Additionally, the capacities of the above satellites shall be used to transmit regional multiplexes.
The existing Express AM33 satellite and the two future spacecraft, Express MD2 and Express AM7, shall be used as space-borne backup of broadcasting the national mandatory publicly available channels. Express AM8 to be positioned at 14° W in 2013 shall beam federal programs onto the Atlantic for Russia’s diplomatic missions (the Moscow Global System).
The Russian TV and Radiocasting Network (RTRN), a federal unitary enterprise, are now finalizing, under an agreement with RSCC, the space-borne capacity required to implement the tasks set by the Federal Target-oriented Program (with due regard for the introduction of new engineering solutions in the RTRN networks).