A Volga-Dnepr Airlines’ An-124-100 ‘Ruslan’ freighter aircraft has delivered the Luch-5V and KazSat-3 telecommunications satellites from Krasnoyarsk in Russia to Kazakhstan’s Baikonur Cosmodrome.
The satellites, weighing a combined 21 tons, were secured inside a special shipping container for the transportation, measuring 14 metres long, 3 metres wide and more than 4 metres high. The container was placed carefully onto the aircraft’s loading ramp using an external crane and then winched into the cargo hold using the An-124’s own onboard handling system. The flight also carried support equipment for the satellites.
Following the safe arrival of the aircraft and its cargo in Kazakhstan, Volga-Dnepr delivered the satellite container back to its manufacturer in Krasnoyarsk.
The Luch-5V is the third of four satellites designed to serve more remote Russian territory with enhance information reception and real-time broadcasting. The KazSat-3 will provide Kazakhstan with a range of telecommunications services. The satellites are due to be launched on April 28 and will be sent into orbit onboard the Proton-M launch vehicle.
Alexander Prokofiev, Senior Load Planning and Logistics Engineer at Volga-Dnepr Airlines, said: “A satellite is a very high-tech, high value and delicate piece of cargo that requires special handling throughout the transportation process. We were required to meet an extremely tight timescale for this particular flight and had to ensure the aircraft and all of the external loading equipment we needed was ready to load the satellites as soon as they arrived at the airport from their production site in the city of Zheleznogororsk. The successful completion of the delivery reflected the detailed planning prior to the flight and the close cooperation with both our customer, Max-Global Foreign Logistics and the manufacturer, JSC Information Satellite Systems - Reshetnev Company.”