McLEAN, Va., Nov. 9, 2005 – International Launch Services (ILS), a Lockheed Martin company (NYSE: LMT), and Orbital Sciences Corp. have signed a contract for launch of the Orbital-built Thor II-R satellite on a Proton Breeze M launch vehicle. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The mission is planned for late 2007 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. This is ILS' first launch contract for an Orbital satellite. It also is the ninth award of the year for International Launch Services. Both companies are based in suburbs of Washington, D.C. – ILS in McLean, Va., and Orbital in Dulles, Va. Telenor Satellite Broadcasting, which will operate the spacecraft, is based in Oslo, Norway, and serves the Nordic countries, Europe and the Middle East.
"We thank Telenor and Orbital for choosing Proton for this important delivery-in-orbit mission," said ILS President Mark Albrecht. "As this is the first time for all of us to be working together, I appreciate the confidence of both organizations in the Proton Breeze M vehicle."
Ali Atia, president of Orbital Communications International, said, "Having a dedicated vehicle with the capability and reliability of Proton ensures we have the best value in launch services for this mission."
Cato Halsaa, managing director of Telenor Satellite Broadcasting, said: "We chose the ILS Proton because it has the demonstrated reliability and launch tempo that Telenor established as criteria for the Thor II-R program."
The group of ILS and Telenor executives present during contract signing. From left to right standing: Cliff Cummings, Greg Herbert, Michael Long, Walter Lewis, Iris Bombelyn, Hideki (Eddie) Kato, David Keslow; seated: Ali Atia and Len Dest. Present but not pictured were Mesut Ciceker and Timothy Hemke.
International Launch Services is the global leader in the space launch industry, offering the two best launch systems: Atlas and Proton. With a remarkable launch rate of 78 missions since 2000, the Atlas and Proton launch vehicles have consistently demonstrated the reliability and flexibility that have made them preferred choice among satellite operators worldwide. Since the beginning of 2003, ILS has signed more new commercial contracts than all of its competitors combined. ILS was formed in 1995, and is based in McLean, Va., a suburb of Washington, D.C.
Lockheed Martin, headquartered in Bethesda, Md., employs about 135,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture and integration of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation reported 2004 sales of $35.5 billion.