The Russian company Space Communications and the Japanese company NEC have signed a contract to jointly manufacture two satellites. The satellites will be built at the Zheleznogorsk-based Academic Reshetnev Research and Production Association of Applied Mechanics, which manufactures almost 70 per cent of all Russian satellites for a variety of purposes. The Association's press service reported that the Siberian producers of telecommunications satellites will build two cosmic series type Express-AM. The contract agreement states that the Japanese will manufacture new retransmission systems, while the Siberians will make the satellites themselves and organise the launch. The two Russo-Japanese satellites are scheduled to be launched in 2005. Earlier the Academic Reshetnev Research and Production Association successfully concluded a similar joint project with the French firm Alcatel.