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The competition heats up: Satellite maker Eutelsat has signed a seven year multi-launch deal with International Launch Services (ILS) using the Proton rocket.
The ILS press release does not state how many launches this contract covers, which makes me suspect that ILS was forced due to competition with SpaceX to give Eutelsat a great deal of flexibility about which launcher it uses with each satellite down the road. The ILS release even admits this. ““With their selection of ILS Proton for this Multi-Launch Agreement Eutelsat has made a clear statement that flexibility and schedule assurance are key discriminators.”
This is still a good thing for the Russians, as it insures them a share in the launch market for almost the next decade.