September 28, 2022 – Thales Alenia Space has signed a contract with ArianeGroup to produce the range safeguard system for the new Ariane 6 launch vehicle. Europe’s new launcher will combine proven and innovative solutions to meet changing market requirements, while maintaining the Ariane family’s track record of reliability. Thales Alenia Space in Belgium has contributed to this family since the outset. Ariane 6 is a European Space Agency (ESA) program, designed to maintain Europe’s leading position in a fast-evolving commercial market, while also meeting the needs of European government missions. The launcher will be available in two versions: Ariane 6.2, with two strap-on boosters, intended mainly for government satellites, and Ariane 6.4, with four strap-on boosters to offer dual launch capability (two satellites at once), primarily designed for commercial payloads. The first launch of Ariane 6 is expected in 2023. The purpose of the range safeguard system is to neutralize the launcher if an errant trajectory would endanger people or property. The electronics at the heart of this system are wholly designed and built by Thales Alenia Space in Belgium. This contract follows the previous development contracts for Ariane 6. It provides for a ramp-up until the 15th launcher, with the delivery of 112 components and subassemblies from now to the summer of 2024. It also lays the groundwork for the operating phase, which should stretch out over 30 years.