PARIS AIR SHOW, June 18, 2007 – International Launch Services (ILS) and SES Satellite Leasing announced a contract today that calls for the launch of five SES satellites on Proton Breeze M vehicles through 2013. Financial details were not disclosed.
With five firm orders, this is the largest single Proton launch services contract. ILS has been marketing the Russian Proton Breeze M vehicle to commercial satellite operators since 1993, and has carried out 40 launches. The Proton vehicle, built by ILS partner Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center, is Russia's premier heavy-lift launcher.
The Proton flights will be available to SES' operating companies: SES AMERICOM, SES ASTRA, SES NEW SKIES and SES SIRIUS. The first mission is expected to be in 2009.
"The real value in this unique multibuy contract is the flexibility it offers SES, in terms of matching payloads and launch periods," said Frank McKenna, ILS president.
"We're proud to continue our long-standing partnership with SES," McKenna said. "Our relationship goes back to the very beginning of ILS. SES was the customer for the first commercial launch on Proton back in 1996, and ILS has launched at least one satellite a year for SES operating companies ever since. In 2007, we have scheduled launches for SES AMERICOM and SES SIRIUS."
Romain Bausch, SES president and CEO, said: "We are confident that with this innovative agreement in place, the continuous development and replacement of our global satellite fleet is ensured at attractive terms and conditions for the foreseeable future, providing SES with an additional competitive edge. International Launch Services and SES have a long history together and we look forward to continuing our successful collaboration on Proton launches."
Over more than 40 years of service, the Proton has launched more than 325 times. Recent product enhancements enable Proton Breeze M to lift more than 6 metric tons to geosynchronous transfer orbit from its launch site at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
SES (Euronext Paris, Luxembourg Stock Exchange: SESG) wholly owns three market-leading satellite operators, SES ASTRA in Europe, SES AMERICOM in North America, and SES NEW SKIES, which provide global coverage and connectivity. The company also holds strategic participations in SES Sirius in Europe, Ciel in Canada and Quetzsat in Mexico. SES provides outstanding satellite communications solutions via a fleet of 36 satellites in 25 orbital positions around the globe. Additional information on SES is available at: www.ses.com
ILS is a joint venture of Space Transport Inc., Khrunichev and RSC Energia. ILS is incorporated in Delaware in the United States, and is headquartered in McLean, Va., a suburb of Washington, D.C. For more information, visit www.ilslaunch.com.