A Volga-Dnepr Airlines’ An-124-100 ‘Ruslan’ freighter aircraft has delivered the Luch-5V and KazSat-3 telecommunications satellites from Krasnoyarsk in Russia to Kazakhstan’s Baikonur Cosmodrome.

The satellites, weighing a combined 21 tons, were secured inside a special shipping container for the transportation, measuring 14 metres long, 3 metres wide and more than 4 metres high. The container was placed carefully onto the aircraft’s loading ramp using an external crane and then winched into the cargo hold using the An-124’s own onboard handling system. The flight also carried support equipment for the satellites.

Following the safe arrival of the aircraft and its cargo in Kazakhstan, Volga-Dnepr delivered the satellite container back to its manufacturer in Krasnoyarsk.

The Luch-5V is the third of four satellites designed to serve more remote Russian territory with enhance information reception and real-time broadcasting. The KazSat-3 will provide Kazakhstan with a range of telecommunications services. The satellites are due to be launched on April 28 and will be sent into orbit onboard the Proton-M launch vehicle.