Ariane 6 configuration flexibility is an asset

Ariane 6 ‘frozen’ configuration was presented by CNES in July 2013 (see figure 1).

Ariane_6

Figure 1

As was already know, the presented concept was part of the ‘PPH’ family.The interesting factor of the final configuration is that it does not allow for any flexibility i.e it does not allow for a family of Ariane 6 configurations as broadcasted before (see figure 2).

A6 P7C

Figure 2

This final configuration is now under significant pressure due to uncertainty in commercial telecom satellites masses due to electric propulsion progress (notwithstanding the debate A5 ME vs A6!)

In this context, it is interesting to analyze benefits of having family versus having one fixed configuration.

In this article, we study 2 Ariane 6 scenarios & 2 satellite mass evolution scenarios

 Ariane 6 scenarios

  • Ariane 6 baseline: one configuration

4 P145 – H32 – Perf in GTO ~ 6.5 T

  • Ariane 6 ‘fagot': two configurations

4 P145 – H32 – Perf in GTO ~ 6.5 T

3 P145 – H32 – Perf in GTO ~ 3.5 T (tbc)

  • Ariane 6 ‘strap-on': two configurations

4 P145 – H32 – Perf in GTO ~ 6.5 T

2 P80 – 2 P145 – H32 – Perf in GTO ~ 3.5 T (tbc)

Satellite mass evolution scenarios based on FAA COMSTAC forecasts-

Note: revenues for each satellite class are included as well based on 20% margin vs 70M€ announced cost)

  • Baseline foreceast – No increased electric propulsion development

Mass class (T)

< 2.5T

2.5T – 4.2T

4.2T – 5.4T

>5.4T

%

13%

27%

20%

40%

Revenues

35.0

58.8

75.6

91.0

  • Alternative with enhanced electric propulsion development – With increased electric propulsion development

Note: revenues for each satellite class are included as well based on 20% margin vs 70M€ announced reccost

Mass class (T)

< 2.5T

2.5T – 4.2T

4.2T – 5.4T

>5.4T

%

25%

27%

20%

28%

Revenues

35.0

58.8

75.6

 91.0  

In summary

  • First of all, the analysis shows that it is not worth it to develop Ariane 6 ‘strap-on’ configuration as 2 P80 recurring cost difference vs 2 P145 is almost fully offset by 2 P80 amortization cost (assumption ‘strap-on’ configuration development cost é 300M€) & P145 reduced experience effect (Aerospace 85% experience factor).
  • Secondly, taking into account experience curve effects (Aerospace 85% experience factor) & additional development costs from Ariane 6 ‘fagot’ 2 configurations (300 M€ from additional qualification launch + specific developments), this alternative scenario should be economically more interesting than Ariane 6 baseline – see details hereunder, unless technical feasibility of Ariane 6 is not fully proven…

No flexibility ( one A6 configuration)

With flexibility ( 2 A6 configurations)

No electric prop. development Electric prop. development No electric prop. development Electric prop. development
4P145-H32 launches/ year

8

8

6

5

Recurring cost / launch

71

71

71

71

Direct costs incl. depreciation / launch

125

125

124

125

3P145-H32   launches per year

0

0

2

3

Recurring cost / launch

0

0

62

63

Direct costs incl. depreciation / launch

0

0

117

118

Total

Recurring costs -no Kourou costs

569

569

551

544

Direct costs incl. depreciation &   fixed costs sharing (Kourou)

996

996

979

978

Revenues

576

522

576

522

Profits vs recurring cots

7

-47

25

-22

Profits   vs direct costs incl depreciation

-421

-475

-403

-456

Note: A6 recurring cost has been adjusted to match 70M€ target at maturity (10 years of operations)

 

 

 

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