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March 9, 2016
Kirk Pysher

This year’s annual SATELLITE conference was host to over 13,000 participants representing over 100 different countries from the global satellite community; the largest satellite-based conference in the industry.  During the conference, ILS President Kirk Pysher participated as a panelist in the closing general session on launch along with other leading providers of launch services for commercial satellite operators.  The following is a summary of Pysher’s remarks during the lively panel discussion.

Cost Effective Access to Space
Pysher stated that cost is not the only factor that should be considered when selecting a launcher. Reliability, performance and on-time delivery to orbit are all factored into the decision-making process. ILS and Khrunichev are continually working with customers on how we can provide the best value to them and that includes cost.
ILS’s primary and immediate goal is to focus on restoring customer confidence and trust in our companies, ILS and Khrunichev, and our product, the Proton Breeze M launch vehicle. 

Khrunichev is also actively reducing costs with several different approaches. They have developed long-lead block buy procurements with suppliers, creating economies of scale.  They have right-sized the Proton manufacturing facility for more efficient operations. They are focused on core programs and eliminating redundancies.  Over one year into the process, steady progress has already been made. These cost reduction measures translate to savings for customers.

What’s the Magic Number?
With three strong launch service providers and as many new entrants, the pricing of launch services are competitive and positioned with every request for a bid from commercial satellite operators.  Customers have made a clear statement that an adequate number of launchers are needed in order to serve the market. 

ILS secured two multi-launch agreements with major operators, Eutelsat and Intelsat, last year and announced an order with Inmarsat just two days ago; this increasingly supports the outcry for launch capacity and schedule assurance.

Nine Proton launches are planned for this year, including five Federal missions with capability to launch up to 12 Protons each year.

Competing and Serving the Market with New Technologies for SmallSats
Pysher said that ILS plans to serve the small satellite market with the Angara 1.2 vehicle.  Angara 1.2 has the highest performance capability in the small launch vehicle class and can launch up to 3 metric tons to LEO at an extremely attractive price point compared to the competition.

The vehicle will be operated commercially from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome, located in Northern Russia, in 2019. We are planning for up to two commercial Angara 1.2 missions per year starting in 2020.  Angara 1.2 offers the flexibility to launch a full range of mass classes to all types of orbits.

Additionally, Pysher noted that ILS and Khrunichev are responding to operator needs with new offerings with Proton. With 410 launches and over 50 years in service, the Proton vehicle remains a mainstay of the Russian space industry.




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