FARNBOROUGH AIR SHOW, July 19, 2004 – International Launch Services (ILS), which has amassed the lion's share of launch contracts in 2004, also is sending customers' satellites into orbit at a record pace.
ILS has been conducting back-to-back launch campaigns since November 2003, averaging one launch per month using either its Lockheed Martin-built Atlas vehicle [NYSE:LMT] or its Khrunichev-built Proton rocket. With six missions successfully completed to date, ILS has launches on both vehicles planned for August. Three more are on the manifest through the end of the year.
As quickly as the rockets are launching, ILS is taking in new orders. ILS has been awarded a total of 11 missions this year for both commercial and government customers, giving it 73% of the available launches in its market. These contracts include missions for the U.S. Air Force and the National Reconnaissance Office, as well as the worldï¿½s largest satellite operators and a variety of direct-to-user service providers, such as DIRECTV, Intelsat, SES Global and Telesat. Since the beginning of 2003, ILS has signed more new commercial contracts than all its competitors combined.
"We're having a great year," said ILS President Mark Albrecht. "We have the world's two most reliable vehicles, launching at a regular tempo that keeps the teams sharp. That's how we are meeting the customers' demands for reliability and the flexibility to provide them schedule assurance."
The Atlas launch vehicle family has achieved 100 percent success in 72 consecutive flights spanning 11 years. The Proton vehicle has a 96 percent success rate over its lifetime, which includes 307 launches for ILS and the Russian government combined. The Atlas flies from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., and the Proton launches from Baikonur, Kazakhstan.
ILS, a joint venture of Lockheed Martin and Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center, was formed in 1995 to market and manage the missions on the Atlas and Proton vehicles. ILS is based in McLean, Va., a suburb of Washington, D.C.
ILS has established itself as the indisputable launch services leader by offering the industry's two best launch systems. With a remarkable launch rate of 64 missions since 2000, the Atlas and Proton launch vehicles have consistently demonstrated the reliability and flexibility that have made them the vehicles of choice.