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ARIANESPACE SIGNS NEW ITALSAT CONTRACT; ITALY'S SECOND TELECOMMUNICATIONS SATELLITE WILL BE LAUNCHED BY ARIANE-4 IN 1995

 ROME, Nov. 19 ~PRNewswire~ -- Today in Rome, Professor Luciano Guerriero, chairman of the Italian Space Agency (ASI), Raffaele Minicucci, managing director of Telespazio, and Charles Bigot, chairman and CEO of Arianespace, signed the launch contract for the ITALSAT F2 satellite developed for the Italian Space Agency.
 ITALSAT F2, first operational satellite in Italy's national telecommunications system, will be placed into geostationary transfer orbit in summer 1995 by an ARIANE 4 launched from the Kourou Space Center in French Guiana. Arianespace also successfully launched the ITALSAT F1 satellite in January 1991.
 Built by Rome-based Alenia Spazio, ITALSAT F2 will weigh about 1,900 kg (4,180 lb) at liftoff. It will provide data transmission and telephone communications. This satellite will also be fitted with the European Space Agency's EMS (European Mobile System) package. The two satellites, ITALSAT F1 and F2, will provide complete space communications coverage for all of Italy.
 Bigot paid tribute to a new customer, Telespazio, by commenting: "Italy's choice of Arianespace is very important. It comes at a time when Europe's space policy decisions are being disrupted in many ways. By its clear decision in favor of the European launcher based on solid economic, technical and operational considerations, Italy demonstrates its solidarity with its European partners. In addition, this choice confirms the country's interest in the highly strategic sector of space transportation, and marks its confidence in the Ariane launch system."
 Guerriero, warmly welcomed the signing of the new launch contract. "The ITALSAT F2 program paves the way for Italy to embark on a new era of operational satellites for the communications sector. The preparation and launch of the ITALSAT F2 program was made possible thanks to a general agreement between the Italian Space Agency, promoter of this major initiative, Telespazio, main operator and customer of Italy's telecommunications services, and the national industry which develops and constructs the satellite, and is an important shareholder of Arianespace."
 Minicucci remarked: "The launch program will not only help consolidate Italy's technological advances, but will bring our country a fully operational telecommunications system by using the first ITALSAT F1 satellite. The satellite will be used by national operators already fully integrated in terrestrial networks and will enable the implementation of new services, particularly mobile phones. Italy is poised to play a leading role in one of Europe's most dynamic sectors."
 With this contract, the eighth of the year, Arianespace's backlog now stands at 31 satellites to be launched, worth a total of FF 14.3 billion (about $2.4 billion).
 Arianespace, an industrial and commercial company, is a world leader in the provision of commercial space transportation services. Arianespace also markets and sells Ariane launch services and provides launch operations from the Guiana Space Center in French Guiana. Arianespace Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Arianespace, is responsible for marketing launch services in the United States; a liaison office in Tokyo assures an Arianespace presence in Japan and in the Pacific region.
 -0- 11~19~92
 ~CONTACT: Michelle Lyle of Arianespace Inc., 202-628-3936, Claude Sanchez of Arianespace S.A., 33~1-6087-60-13~14, or Dieter Brand of Arianespace Tokyo, 813-3592-2766~


CO: Arianespace; Italsat ST: IN: ARO SU: CON

KD -- DC008 -- 2815 11~19~92 11:05 EST
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Date:Nov 19, 1992
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