The Russian Gazprom Space Systems company has ordered the construction of its Yamal 601 communications satellite from the European spacecraft manufacturer Thales Alenia Space. The spacecraft will use a the SpaceBus 4000C4 as its bus/platform design and carry the equivalent of 26 Ka-band, 16 C-band and 19 Ku-band transponders in its communications payload. As part of the construction deal, Gazprom personnel are to be given extensive training and expertise transfer.
In addition to the announcement of Yamal 601′s construction, on the same day (22 January 2014) the launch provider ILS (International Launch Services) announced that it has been awarded the contract to launch the 5,700kg satellite on its way to geostationary Earth orbit (GEO). The satellite is to be placed over a longitude of 49 degrees East in GEO over the equator from where it will provide services to Europe, the Middle East and North Africa and even to South East Asia.