Setting the standard for Russian-American space cooperation, International Launch Services is an unparalleled success in the space industry.
On 10 June 1995, International Launch Services was established, upon the merger of Lockheed and Martin Marietta companies, to market Proton and Atlas launch services to the commercial satellite telecommunications marketplace worldwide. Prior to the merger, each of these companies were competing in the commercial launch services market with the Proton and Atlas rockets. Lockheed entered the launch market in 1993 with the establishment of Lockheed-Khrunichev- Energia International (LKEI), the joint venture to exclusively market the Russian Proton launch vehicle. Similarly, Martin Marietta had entered the commercial launch arena with the family of Atlas launch vehicles. Neither rocket was new to the market, however, and provided a combined heritage foundation of more than 450 launches at the inception of ILS.
In October 2006, ILS became a stand-alone company focused on a single product, the Proton Breeze M rocket. Space Transport Inc., a private company, purchased Lockheed Martin’s interest in ILS and for the first time in our history ILS would operate independently. ILS was restructured based on a key objective: focus on performance. We believed then, and it remains true today, that ILS would continue to prosper by consistently meeting our commitments to our customers with dependable products and services.
In May 2008, Khrunichev became the majority shareholder of ILS. That strategic move resulted in the complete alignment of our goals and objectives with a streamlined ownership and decision-making structure, a strong financial foundation, greater visibility and increased productivity.
ILS offers one of the premier launch vehicles in the world: the Proton. With an impressive heritage of demonstrated performance, the Proton launcher provides proven on-time reliability and expanded commercial capability, launched from the dedicated world-class facilities in Baikonur, Kazakhstan.
Built by the Khrunichev State Research and Production Center, the Proton rocket is the largest Russian launch vehicle in operational service. Proton launches both geostationary and interplanetary missions, and is the principal workhorse of the Russian space program.
The Proton launch system has been used in more than 380 launches and has an outstanding reliability record of over 95 percent.
With Russian Federal and ILS missions combined, Proton launches about 12 times a year. This gives the Proton launch vehicle the best launch tempo in the industry.
The evolutionary enhancements to the Proton rocket have taken the lift capability to over 6 metric tons. The current Phase III Proton launcher was first demonstrated with the successful launch of the Federal dual Express mission in February 2009. This standard configuration has optimized GTO and GSO performance capabilities.
The first commercial Phase III launch on Proton was in March 2010 with the launch of EchoStar XIV. The ViaSat-1 satellite is the heaviest satellite launched on ILS Proton weighing over 6.7 metric tons at liftoff.
For more information on the Proton Launch Vehicle and launch services provided by ILS, view our Proton Mission Planner's Guide.
Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center (Khrunichev), a Federal State Unitary Enterprise (FSUE), has been a longstanding leader in the advancement of space programs. Founded in 1916 and headquartered in Moscow, Khrunichev’s varied product lines include launch vehicles and launch vehicle upper stages, communication and earth observation satellites, rocket engines and space station modules.
Over time, Khrunichev has emerged as one of the world’s largest space production centers, serving the international satellite telecommunication industry as well as Russian Federal and international space programs, working with 45 different companies in 22 countries across the globe.
Since 2005, by Russian Federation presidential decree, there have been dramatic improvements in quality, resource consolidation and production efficiency with volume increasing by more than 39 percent of the total world space cargo. In addition to the commercial Proton rocket launches that Khrunichev supports, it also delivers three to five Federal Proton launches per year at both the Baikonur and Plesesk Cosmodromes.
ILS and Khrunichev are dedicated to the success of your mission. For further information on launching with ILS please contact us.