McLEAN, Va.; PRINCETON, N.J.; and CHATEAU de BETZDORF, Luxembourg, April 19, 2004 — International Launch Services (ILS) announced today a contract with SES AMERICOM and SES ASTRA, both SES GLOBAL companies, to launch three satellites in 2005 and 2006. Financial terms were not disclosed.
ILS is a joint venture of Lockheed Martin Corp. (NYSE:LMT) of the United States, manufacturer of the Atlas rocket, and Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center of Russia, builder of the Proton vehicle. ILS provides launch services on the Atlas and Proton vehicles to customers worldwide.
The contract offers SES GLOBAL (Luxembourg and Frankfurt stock exchanges: SESG) schedule assurance with a mix of Atlas and Proton launch services. SES AMERICOM signed up for the launch of its AMC-14 satellite in early 2006 on an Atlas V rocket, and AMC-16 in early 2005 on a Proton vehicle. SES ASTRA will boost its ASTRA 1L satellite on a Proton vehicle in late 2006. All three spacecraft are A2100 models being built by Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems.
"With three firm missions, this is one of the largest commercial launch contracts the industry has seen in years," said ILS President Mark Albrecht. "The SES companies individually are long-time and valued customers, and we're pleased to be continuing the relationship with the SES family in this combined contract. Our ties to SES date back to the first ILS commercial Proton launch, with the ASTRA 1F satellite. Since that 1996 mission, Proton vehicles have launched at least one satellite for SES ASTRA or SES AMERICOM every year."
Albrecht added: "We started launching satellites on our Atlas rocket for the SES AMERICOM fleet in 1996 as well. This year alone, we have four SES AMERICOM launches manifested – two each on Atlas and Proton rockets. We have launched 12 SES AMERICOM and SES ASTRA satellites, and with this new order we will have a backlog of seven launches with the SES companies.
"As the satellite industry changes, launch contracts like this one, which provide the added value of reliability and schedule assurance, will become more the rule than the exception. Only ILS has the diversity and flexibility to offer schedule assurance on two vehicles through a single contract and one team," Albrecht said.
Dean Olmstead, president and CEO of SES AMERICOM, said: "The missions of both AMC-16 and AMC-14 are critical to the expanding role of AMERICOM2Home — providing bandwidth for new high-definition, local-into-local and interactive broadband services, enabling U.S. consumers to enjoy a full suite of satellite-based entertainment, information and Internet applications. We are entrusting these missions to ILS, confidently expecting them to launch them on time, on budget and to spec."
Ferdinand Kayser, president and CEO of SES ASTRA, stated: "We look forward to working with ILS' dedicated professionals at the Baikonur Cosmodrome as we prepare for the launch of ASTRA 1L, an important replacement satellite which will further bolster ASTRA's comprehensive inter-satellite backup scheme at the world's most popular orbital position of 19.2 East."
AboutSES ASTRA www.ses-astra.com
About SES AMERICOM www.ses-americom.com
About SES GLOBAL www.ses-global.com
About ILS www.ilslaunch.com