RESTON, Va. / Hong Kong, February 24, 2009 – International Launch Services (ILS) and Asia Satellite Telecommunications Co. Ltd. (AsiaSat) announced a contract today for the launch of AsiaSat 5 satellite on an ILS Proton. The satellite is under construction by Space Systems/Loral in Palo Alto, California, and is expected to be delivered to the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan early this summer.  ILS and Khrunichev are implementing a mission integration schedule to support a third quarter 2009 launch. 

AsiaSat 5 will replace AsiaSat 2 at the orbital location of 100.5 degrees East. The new AsiaSat 5 will offer an enhanced pan Asian C-band footprint and high-power Ku-band beams over East Asia, South Asia, and an in-orbit steerable Ku beam. The satellite is a Space Systems/Loral 1300 platform, designed for a lifespan of 15 years. The station-keeping lifetime of the satellite should be greatly improved due to the available performance of the Proton launch vehicle. 

Frank McKenna, President of ILS said, “This was truly a win-win situation.  Due to another customer’s change in plans we have hardware and manifest availability to support AsiaSat’s schedule needs.  ILS is dedicated to providing our long-term customer, AsiaSat, with outstanding launch services and on-time delivery with Proton in the third quarter of this year.”

AsiaSat’s CEO Peter Jackson said, “With this launch opportunity with ILS, we are setting forth a strategy to launch AsiaSat 5 in keeping with our planned replacement program for AsiaSat 2.  ILS Proton offers us the schedule assurance that we need to ensure continuity of service to our customers at the orbital location of 100.5 degrees East.”

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