Safran et Astrium sign production contracts for propulsion systems on latest batch of Ariane 5 launchers

Paris, December 17, 2013

Astrium today signed contracts with Snecma (Safran) and Europropulsion for the production of the cryogenic rocket engines (liquid oxygen and hydrogen) and solid rocket motors for 18 new Ariane 5 launchers.

These contracts extend the agreements signed by Astrium and Safran in 2009 for the production of propulsion system and equipment on the PB batch of 35 Ariane 5 launchers.

Snecma will deliver 18 Vulcain®2 rocket engines for the cryogenic main stage, plus 13 HM7B cryogenic engines for the upper stage on Ariane 5 ECA launchers, and equipment for the propulsion systems on these two stages.

"With this agreement, Snecma and its European partners can ensure the continued production of Ariane 5 engines until the end of 2018," noted David Quancard, director of Snecma's Space Engines division.

This is also a major order for the Safran companies specializing in solid propulsion, namely Herakles (Safran), Europropulsion, Pyroalliance, and Regulus, because it covers not only the production of 36 motors for Ariane 5, but also the supply of raw materials and pyrotechnic equipment for these launchers. Europropulsion is a 50-50 subsidiary of Safran and Avio. Pyroalliance is a joint subsidiary of Herakles (85%), Avio (10%) and Astrium (5%), while Regulus is a joint subsidiary of Avio (60%) and Safran (40%).

"This contract ensures the continuing success of the world's most reliable launcher, and also gives Herakles and our partners the opportunity to contribute to the future development of the Ariane 5 launcher within an increasingly competitive market," said Thierry Francou, director of Herakles' Space Business Unit.

The new launchers will be delivered from 2017 to 2019.


Safran is a leading international high-technology group with three core businesses: Aerospace (propulsion and equipment), Defence and Security. Operating worldwide, the Group has 62,500 employees and generated sales of 13.6 billion euros in 2012. Working alone or in partnership, Safran holds world or European leadership positions in its core markets. The Group invests heavily in Research & Development to meet the requirements of changing markets, including expenditures of 1.6 billion Euros in 2012. Safran is listed on NYSE Euronext Paris and is part of the CAC40 index.

Snecma is the European leader in cryogenic propulsion and Number 2 worldwide, as the prime contractor for cryogenic propulsion systems on Ariane launchers. Herakles is a world leader in solid propulsion, and a recognized specialist in thermostructural composites (light, high-temperature-resistant products).

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