AMU1 satellite launch is scheduled on December 2015; it is planned to utilize Proton-M rocket, launch site would be Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan.
As a biggest state on Earth Russia seems real money machine for Direct-to-Home broadcasting and satellite companies. Since 1972, when Canada successfully designed first broadcasting satellite (Anik-1) continuous develop provide smaller, less expensive, and powerful satellites for TV market. It was not big surprise, that Russian market will demand such solutions in the future. Due the huge size of the country and low number of urbanized centers it was known that TV signal is rather weak on most area. Collapse of USSR and new Constitution from 1993 opened TV market and gave opportunity for commercial TV market development. Today in Russia from around 3000 TV channels only 3 are covering all country. Russian broadcasting companies are forced to use powerful satellites like Yamal and Gals for transmittting TV signal countrywide. In spite of cooperation with national space industry, TV companies are often cooperating with foreign space enteerprises. AMU1 satellite is good example of connecting what Russian and Western offers best: modern broadcasting satellite technology and reliable launch solutions. Newest satellite in Russian broadcasting constellation is made by Airbus Defense and Space under contract from 2013 with Russian Satellite Communications Company (RSCC). It will cover with downlink Russia and Sub-Saharan Africa. It will be equipped with seventy transponders in Ku and Ka bands. It was based on E3000 platform and is designed to remain operational for 15 years.
Weighing 5700 kg AMU1 is not featherweight player. Proton rocket has sufficient payload capabilities (6000 kg for GTO missions) and is reliable solution. In M version it is liquid fueled, three stage rocket. First stage is equipped with six RD-253-4D14 engines (thrust at10,532 kN). Second stage is equipped with four RD-0210 engines with thrust at 2,399 kN. Third stage with one RD-0212 with thrust at 613.8 kN is combined with Breeze-M upper module (equipped with one S5.98M engine with thrust at 19.6 kN). Since 2007 only version with upper module is operational. Proton-M is able to lift heavy weight satellites - in 2011 Proton-M with Breeze-M lifted Viasat-1 satellite weighing 6740 kg to GTO.