The two satellites are to be launched on separate Ariane 5s from the Guiana Space Center, Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana from end 2018 onwards, starting with GSAT-31.
Both satellites will be designed, assembled and integrated by ISRO. They are planned as replacement satellites for the currently operational satellites providing key national services in multiple frequency bands including C- and Ku Bands.
GSAT-31 will be based on an enhanced I-2K platform, to be stationed in geostationary orbit at a longitude of 48° East. It will weigh 2,500 to 2,600 kg. at launch. Providing communications to India, it will replace Insat 4CR, whose end of life is soon expected.
As for GSAT-30, it will be based on an I-3K platform, will weigh 3,450 kg. at launch and ensure continuity of service for INSAT 4A, positioned at 83° East longitude. It will provide high-quality television, telecommunications and broadcasting services.
Commenting on this contract, Arianespace CEO Stéphane Israël said: “Arianespace is delighted that ISRO has entrusted Ariane 5 with two new GEO satellites to deliver: GSAT-31 and GSAT-30, to be the 23rd and 24th ISRO satellites launched by Arianespace since our first joint success with APPLE in 1981. This contract underlines the availability of Arianespace launchers and proves to be another great demonstration of the strong bond uniting India and Europe in space cooperation for a better life on Earth.”