SAN DIEGO, Nov. 5, 1997 – International Launch Services (ILS) announced today that its newest Russian launch vehicle – Proton M – will launch the INTELSAT 901 communications satellite.
During a recent ceremony at INTELSAT headquarters in Washington, D.C., ILS president Charles H. Lloyd and INTELSAT Director General and CEO Irving Goldstein signed the contract for launch services scheduled to occur in the year 2000. This contract marks the first time an INTELSAT satellite will be launched on a Russian-built Proton rocket.
“We are extremely pleased that one of the world’s leading satellite operators has chosen Proton to launch the first of its next generation of satellites,” said Charles H. Lloyd, president of ILS. “INTELSAT’s decision to fly on Proton exemplifies the mutually successful relationship that began with the Atlas side of our operations well over two decades ago, and it demonstrates the market strength of the Proton M.”
The contract calls for one firm launch with options for up to five additional launches. INTELSAT owns and operates the world’s most extensive global communication satellite system. The INTELSAT system provides voice/data and video services to customers around the world.
ILS now holds seven commercial Proton launch contracts for a total backlog of 20 launch commitments. There have been 6 commercial Proton launches to date, three of which were conducted under the auspices of ILS. Two more commercial Proton launches remain in 1997 with 9 planned for 1998. The combined ILS Proton and Atlas backlog is in excess of $3.5 billion.
ILS is a joint venture company established in 1995 to jointly market Proton and the Lockheed Martin Astronautics-built Atlas to the worldwide satellite launch market. ILS is owned by Lockheed Martin Corporation’s Commercial Launch Services and the company’s LKEI joint venture with Khrunichev and RSC Energia in Russia. Proton is built by Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center in Moscow.