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Russia, France developing new satellite platform

MOSCOW, December 11 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's Reshetnev Applied Mechanics Production Association (NPO-PM) and France's Thales Alenia Space are developing a new multifunctional satellite platform, Express-4000, the Russian company said on Tuesday.

Thales Alenia Space, a major payload provider for the Russian telecom satellite market, and NPO-PM are closely working on a joint program to cooperate in the development and building of a new multi-mission satellite platform optimized for a direct injection in the Geosynchronous Orbit (GSO) and able of High-Elliptical Orbit (HEO) missions.

"Express-4000 will incorporate a large range of Russian equipments and subsystems and will embark a Thales Alenia Space payload," it said.

The high-capacity Express-4000 satellite will be commercialized by NPO-PM as prime contractor and will be Proton compatible. Express-4000 satellites will be built and integrated in Russia at NPO-PM's facilities.

Pascale Sourisse, President and CEO of Thales Alenia Space said: "This extended cooperation with NPO-PM and the Russian industry is a major step for the telecom satellite market and Thales Alenia Space's strategy. This common approach demonstrates the confidence and trust between our two companies, which is based on a strong heritage of cooperation and success."

Thales Alenia Space is a joint venture between Thales (67%) and Finmeccanica (33%). Thales Alenia Space and Telespazio embody the two groups' "Space Alliance". The company has a total of 7,200 employees and 11 industrial sites, with locations in France, Italy, Spain and Belgium.

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