Arianespace’s revised OneWeb contract drops Ariane 6, two Soyuz launches

WASHINGTON — Arianespace and OneWeb on Sept. 21 announced a revised launch contract that covers OneWeb’s constellation deployment with three fewer launches than originally planned. 

Arianespace will conduct 16 Soyuz launches for OneWeb, each carrying 34-36 satellites, to complete OneWeb’s internet megaconstellation by the end of 2022. The revised contract canceled two Soyuz launches, and removed OneWeb as the customer for the inaugural Ariane 6 launch, an Arianespace spokesperson told SpaceNews.

Arianespace conducted three Soyuz launches for OneWeb before the London-based megaconstellation company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in March, halting a launch campaign that called for an average of one Soyuz launch a month through the end of 2021. 

OneWeb said the revised launch contract is “subject to confirmation and consummation” of its restructuring plan. The British government and Indian telecommunications giant Bharti Global are buying the company, which ran out of funding while deploying its envisioned 650-satellite

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