PARIS, Sept. 8, 2003 — International Launch Services (ILS) and SES AMERICOM have set the launch of the AMC-15 satellite for the second half of 2004 on a Proton launch vehicle. The companies made the announcement today during the Euroconsult World Satellite Business Week conference.
SES AMERICOM ordered an unspecified Proton launch from ILS earlier this year, and recently assigned it to a Proton/Breeze M launch for the AMC-15 satellite. The spacecraft is an A2100 model built by Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems (LMCSS), with a Ku/Ka-band payload for distribution of video, Internet and broadband services across the U.S. including Alaska and Hawaii. The target launch date is August 2004.
ILS is a joint venture of Lockheed Martin Corp. (NYSE:LMT) in the United States, which builds the Atlas rocket; and Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center of Russia, which builds the Proton vehicle.
"It's a pleasure to confirm this Proton mission for SES AMERICOM," said ILS President Mark Albrecht. "Although the launch is only a year away, this again demonstrates the flexibility in our manifest to accommodate satellite operators' launch schedules."
ILS provides launch services on both the Atlas and the Proton vehicles, from launch sites at Cape Canaveral, Fla., in the United States and the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, respectively. With two independent yet complementary, highly reliable launch systems that provide mutual backup, a sustained launch tempo and a single, integrated management and support structure, ILS offers true schedule assurance.
"The AMC-9 satellite was the payload for the landmark 300th flight of Proton in June," Albrecht said, "and we have the AMC-12 mission set for Proton in the first half of '04. So the AMC-15 launch will reunite a well-experienced team next summer in Baikonur."
The AMC-15 launch will follow closely two other ILS Atlas IIAS missions (AMC-10 and AMC-11) for SES AMERICOM planned for the first quarter of 2004. ILS has launched five satellites for the AMERICOM fleet, among a total of 14 launches provided by ILS for the SES GLOBAL family of satellite companies.
Dean Olmstead, president and CEO of SES AMERICOM, said, "With the launch of AMC-15 we will reach a key milestone in the development of the AMERICOM2Home neighborhood at 105 degrees West and the next generation of broadband services. AMC-15 carries our first Ka-band payload of 12 125-MHz beams plus a standard 24 36-MHz transponder Ku-band FSS payload – we trust ILS to get the satellite into orbit on time."
ILS was formed in 1995 to provide launch services to customers worldwide, including technical, management and marketing expertise. It offers the broadest range of launch services in the world along with the highest reliability in the industry.