McLEAN, Va., May 12, 2004 — International Launch Services (ILS) is adding the launch of the AMC-16 satellite to its Atlas V manifest for the fourth quarter of 2004, resulting in a total of five planned missions this year for a single customer, SES AMERICOM.
The satellite had been scheduled for launch on ILS' Russian Proton vehicle during the first quarter of 2005, under a contract announced last month to provide three launches for SES companies. The contract included the option to switch the AMC-16 mission to ILS' Atlas rocket, built by Lockheed Martin [NYSE:LMT]. ILS is a U.S.-Russian joint venture between Lockheed Martin and Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center, and leads the market in providing launch services to customers worldwide.
"Only ILS can offer this type of opportunity in a single contract," said ILS President Mark Albrecht. "With two dedicated launch systems and exceptional vehicle reliability, ILS not only offers schedule assurance to meet contract requirements, but goes beyond that to provide additional flexibility to meet evolving customer needs. That's what makes ILS the launch industry leader."
The mission is planned for an Atlas V 521 configuration vehicle. The AMC-16 satellite is an A2100 model being built by Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems, as are three of the other SES AMERICOM satellites being launched by ILS this year. The others are AMC-10, AMC-11 and AMC-15. AMC-10 was launched successfully on an Atlas vehicle Feb. 5 and AMC-11 is set for an Atlas launch next Wednesday. AMC-15 and the Alcatel-built Worldsat-2 (previously known as AMC-12) are scheduled for launch on Proton vehicles the second half of this year.
"SES AMERICOM has always been a frequent flyer with ILS," Albrecht said. "And we have a tremendous history with its sister company, SES ASTRA, as well. ASTRA satellites have flown with ILS since the first commercial Proton mission 8 years ago."
ILS, headquartered near Washington, D.C., was formed in 1995 to provide launch services to customers worldwide on the Atlas and Proton vehicles. ILS offers the broadest range of launch services in the world along with the highest reliability in the industry.