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Russia to launch 5 communication satellites

(Xinhua) Updated: 2012-10-20 08:33

MOSCOW - Russia is set to launch five communication satellites in 2013, their producer's chief designer said Friday.

"The first in line is Express-AM5. We will be ready to launch it in the second quarter of 2013," Nikolai Testoyedov, head of the Informational Satellite Systems company, told the Interfax news agency. Express-AM5 will carry a Canadian-made telecommunications device, said Testoyedov, whose company is based in Krasnoyarsk region in Siberia.

The Express-AM6 satellites will also be ready at that time, he said, adding that financing for the launches has been arriving as scheduled.

Express-AM5 and Express-AM6 are designed for providing Russian territory with digital radio and TV broadcasting as well as for the government's communications needs.

Three more satellites of that type, two of which will be launched in a bundle, have been scheduled for launch during 2013.

Russian Federal Space Agency Roscosmos has planned to upgrade Proton rocket carrier and Breeze booster for the upcoming launches of the Express-AM5 and Express-AM6 satellites.

Last Friday, Roscosmos announced a tender for the upgrades and said it would select a contract winner on November 22.

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