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Snecma’s PPS®5000 plasma thruster selected for Neosat


Vernon, France – January 20th, 2016

Prime contractors Thales Alenia Space and Airbus Defense and Space have jointly selected, along with the European Space Agency (ESA), Snecma’s PPS®5000 plasma (electric) thruster for their new-generation telecommunications satellite platforms now being developed through the Neosat program. ESA also authorized Thales Alenia Space and Airbus Defense and Space to start final contractual negotiations with Snecma.

The Neosat program includes the delivery, in the summer of 2017, of complete shipsets of plasma thrusters, along with design studies and testing, for the two prime contractors’ respective platforms, the Eurostar Neo from Airbus Defense and Space, and the Spacebus Neo from Thales Alenia Space. These two platforms will be optimized for all-electric propulsion systems, used to raise the satellite into its definitive orbit after release from the launcher, and to keep it in its assigned operational orbit (stationkeeping). The total market will include more than 350 thrusters to be supplied by Snecma.

“Along with the development of the PPS®5000 and its first launch planned for mid-2017, this decision will allow Snecma to take a major step towards the production and marketing of its plasma thrusters,” said Didier Desnoyer, Snecma Executive Vice President for Military Engines and Plasma Propulsion.

Snecma also confirms its position as the baseline supplier to satellite prime contractors Thales Alenia Space and Airbus Defense and Space, in line with the original Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) signed in 2014*.

ESA’s Neosat program is being conducted in collaboration with a number of space agencies from European countries, in particular French space agency CNES. The aim is to develop and qualify a family of robust, modular platforms that will meet the needs of telecom satellite operators. This program is targeting a 30% reduction in satellite costs versus current models by 2020, while also winning 50% of the telecom satellite market during the period 2018-2030.


* For further information about the agreement with Airbus, see: www.snecma.com/fr/media/20140321_airbus-defence-and-space-et-snecma-cooperent-sur-la-propulsion-electrique.

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About Snecma (Safran)

Snecma is part of Safran, an international high-technology group with three core businesses: aerospace, defence and security. Snecma designs, builds and sells propulsion systems for air and space, including a wide range of commercial engines that are powerful, reliable, economical and environmentally-friendly, led by the global best-seller CFM56 and the new-generation LEAP*. The company also makes world-class military aircraft engines, as well as rocket propulsion systems and equipment for satellites and launch vehicles. Snecma is a leading provider of maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services for civil and military aircraft engines, under the new EngineLife® brand, offering comprehensive support for customers around the world.

*CFM56 and LEAP engines are produced and marketed by CFM International, a 50/50 joint company of Snecma (Safran), France and GE of the United States.


For more information, please visit www.snecma.com and follow @Snecma on twitter.

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