Ariane 5

Ariane 5

Ariane 5 is a major element in Europe’s unrestricted, independent access to space. Airbus Defence and Space, through the Airbus Safran Launchers joint-venture, 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...

Up to 10 tonsGeostationary Transfer Orbit payload capacity
80 Successful Launchesin a row
37,476 km/hThe Higher Speed achieved by an Ariane rocket
Prime contractorwithin Airbus Safran Launchers


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

A Dual Role Partner

Sole prime contractor

Responsible of coordination

Since May 2003, we're in charge of coordinating some 64 companies across Europe, meaning that Airbus Safran Launchers delivers to Arianespace, the launch services marketing company, a complete, fully-tested, cost-effective launcher, 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 Airbus Safran Launchers. Our teams are on hand in Kourou, French Guiana, to support Arianespace during launch campaigns.

Go further with Ariane

Since 1996, Ariane is one of the most reliable launcher in the world. Find some more information about what's coming next in the Ariane history