Aerospace reaches for the stars

08:39, November 17, 2010      

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China's commercial aerospace sector took a further step toward major-player status in the global market on Tuesday.

That came as China Great Wall Industry Corporation (CGWIC), the country's only satellite exporter and launcher for overseas customers, agreed to buy 20 carrier rockets and eight satellites in the next five years.

CGWIC will buy 20 Long March 3A rockets and services from the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology.

The company will also purchase eight telecommunications satellites, including the Dongfanghong-4 model, from the China Academy of Space Technology (CAST).

The contracts have a combined value of 15 billion yuan ($2.26 billion).

"It shows our confidence and our determination in competing in the global market," said Yin Liming, the president of CGWIC.

The deal is expected to boost exports of Chinese-made satellites to as much as 10 percent of the international market, and might help the country secure 15 percent of the international commercial launching market within five years, according to Yin.

Each year between 20 and 30 geostationary communications satellites are sent into orbit by commercial providers around the world, according to the company - making feasible the nation's goal of taking 10 percent of the global market by selling at least eight satellites over a five-year period.

The president of CGWIC elaborated that the pre-order could also "bring forward research and development of rockets and satellites ahead of schedule, shorten the delivery period, and improve the company's sensitivity to the market trend".

CGWIC is not the only enterprise to grasp the momentum of rising international demand for Chinese aerospace products.

Hao Zhaoping, deputy director of the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALT), whose rockets are used by tens of countries and regions, said global demand for Chinese rockets and services continues to grow.

"We now produce 12 to 15 Long March 3A rockets each year; and that supply is almost equal to the market demand," he said.

The contracts were signed at the Eighth China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition, also known as Airshow China, which began Tuesday in Zhuhai in Guangdong province.

CGWIC, CALT and CAST are all subsidiaries of the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation.

Source:China Daily


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