Two new versions
Soyuz 2-1a is an upgraded version of the Russian launcher, with a larger fairing and a digital control system that gives it more flexibility. The first in this new series was successfully launched on 8 November in Russia.
The next step in the launcher’s upgrade programme is the market entry of the Soyuz 2-1b, which will have a more powerful third-stage engine to enhance performance and increase payload lift capacity.
First step on the road to French Guiana
The European Soyuz in Kourou programme is also a keystone of the cooperation between ESA and the Russian space agency. This programme will include construction of a new launch complex at the CSG and participation in Soyuz 2-1b development.