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Latest Satellite News Discussion, New Ariane slams Eutelsat at General Satellite News forum; Ariane slams Eutelsat Written by Chris Forrester The normally ultra-polite world of satellite CEOs was blown apart at a Washington ...

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New Ariane slams Eutelsat
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New Ariane slams Eutelsat - 29-March-2009, 15:10

Ariane slams Eutelsat

Written by Chris Forrester

The normally ultra-polite world of satellite CEOs was blown apart at a Washington DC conference Wednesday, when Jean-Yves Le Gall, CEO at Paris-based Arianespace, expressed outrage and shock at Eutelsats decision to permit a Chinese satellite launcher to place a communications satellite into orbit.

Eutelsat is buying its W3C satellite from Thales Alenia Space on a build and launch contract. Normally Eutelsat chooses either Arianespace or Russias Proton as its launch vehicle.

Le Gall told AFP that Eutelsats choice of a Chinese launcher "leaves us extremely perplexed." He added that Eutelsats decision could be seen as being hostile to the United States. This comment refers to Eutelsat having to order an ITAR free satellite for China. The USAs tough ITAR regulations forbid any American components being used within a satellite thats to be launched on Chinas Long March rocket vehicle. The 1998 International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) rules, prohibits export and import of defence-related articles and services to certain countries including China.

Giuliano Berretta, Eutelsats CEO, has made it clear that he would back another Chinese launch if prices were favourable and delivery dates were suitable. Berretta has earlier said that he was aware of French government pressure to cancel the launch contract and to favour Ariane. Berretta, speaking on March 25, said hed happily choose Americas Atlas and Delta rocket launchers provided the price and availability suited.

Other senior industry figures, including Mr Berretta, as well as Intelsats Dave McGlade, SES Romain Bausch and Telesats Dan Goldberg, all speaking in Washington, urged the US government to relax its ITAR rules.
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