Russia is ready to expand its space turf with plans to launch 5 communications satellite next year. According to Nikolai Testoyedov, the first of five birds planned, the Express-AM5 is already slated for a launch in the Q2 of 2013. Testoyedov is the head of the Informational Satellites System based in Krasnoyarsk.

Funding for the satellites have proceeded as planned and both the Express-AM5 and AM6 satellites have been readied for same launch period. Based in Moscow, Roscosmos which is the Russian Federal Space Agency, has been working on the launch of the 5 new vessels and is already upgrading the Proton/Breeze rocket which will be used to send the satellites into orbit. There had been previous mission failures on the Proton Rocket but last week it had successfully sent an Intelsat satellite into orbit.

The Express AM satellites are expected to deliver capacity for Russia’s digital radio, satellite internet and TV broadcast needs. But it has been reported to also support the government’s communications requirements. Aside from the AM5 and AM6, three more satellites will be built next year, two of which will launched as a bundle in 2013.

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