Ariane 5

Ariane 5


Ariane 5 is a major element in Europe’s independent access to space. Airbus Defence and Space, through the ArianeGroup joint venture as the prime contractor and lead manufacturer, is one of the keys to this success, with experience dating back to the beginnings of the European space industry: the Diamant and early Ariane launchers.

10-plus tons Geostationary transfer orbit payload capacity
37,476 km/h
The highest speed achieved by an Ariane rocket
Prime contractor 

The new-generation Ariane 5 continues the tradition of its famous Ariane 1-4 predecessors, but features a streamlined design. Since 2005, the latest heavy-lift version of Ariane 5 has provided increased geostationary transfer orbit payload capacity – with 10-plus tonnes on dual launches to meet the evolving demands of both commercial and institutional markets. It incorporates a proven cryogenic upper stage carrying over 14 tons of propellants, and a strengthened cryogenic main stage, powered by the Vulcain 2 engine.

A dual-role partner

Sole prime contractor
Responsible for coordination

Coordinating some 64 companies across Europe, the ArianeGroup joint venture of Airbus and Safran delivers a complete, fully-tested, cost-effective launcher to Arianespace – the launch services marketing company – in line with demanding market conditions.

Lead manufacturer
Responsible for the production

All Ariane 5 stages, the vehicle equipment bay, the dual launch system upper part structure (SYLDA) and flight software, along with a number of subassemblies, are built by Airbus Defence and Space through ArianeGroup. Our teams are on hand in Kourou, French Guiana, to support Arianespace during launch campaigns.


Ariane 5

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