McLean, Va., Sept. 5, 2003 — International Launch Services (ILS) today announced a contract with Binariang Satellite Systems Sdn. Bhd. to launch the MEASAT-3 satellite in 2005. Financial details were not disclosed.
The mission will use the Russian-built Proton rocket with a Breeze M upper stage to place the satellite at 91.5 degrees East longitude to serve Malaysia, Southeast and Central Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Australia. ILS, the world's leading launch provider, is a U.S.-Russian joint venture that markets and manages the commercial launch missions for the Proton vehicle, built by Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center, as well as for the American Atlas rocket, built by Lockheed Martin Corp. (NYSE:LMT).
"As ILS expands its list of international customers into Southeast Asia, we're pleased that Binariang, one of the region's leading satellite operators, has elected to become our customer," said ILS President Mark Albrecht. "The Proton rocket, with its history of 300 launches, has developed a reputation in the international satellite community as both a reliable and a very capable vehicle. The choice of Proton/Breeze M by Binariang over other international suppliers demonstrates Binariang's confidence both in the Russian-built launcher and in ILS."
"Binariang is pleased to recognize the quality and value of the Proton rocket launcher for Malaysia's next-generation satellite. The ILS team has an outstanding reputation for success in supporting its customers' satellite launches," said Tun Haniff Omar, director of Binariang Satellite Systems. "We are pleased to have selected this team for our MEASAT-3 satellite launch."
MEASAT-3 is a Boeing 601 model, similar to nine satellites for other operators that have flown on Proton. Binariang is the sole licensed commercial satellite operator in Malaysia. The company pioneered the development of high-powered Ku-band direct-to-home services into Southeast Asia in 1996. The current MEASAT-1 and -2 satellites provide C-band and Ku-band connectivity spanning India, Asia and Australia, as well as Hawaii in the United States.
The Proton launch services contract was signed with Lockheed-Khrunichev-Energia International and Lockheed Martin Commercial Launch Services, the contracting affiliates within ILS for commercial Proton and Atlas launches. ILS is a joint venture formed in 1995.
ILS offers the broadest range of launch services in the world along with products with the highest reliability in the industry. Khrunichev assembles the three-stage Proton rocket and the Breeze M upper stage at its plant near Moscow. ILSï¿½ Atlas rockets and their Centaur upper stages are built by Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co. near Denver, Colo.