SAN DIEGO, Dec. 11, 1996 – International Launch Services (ILS) has confirmed that the Russian Proton rocket will launch the first telecommunications satellite for the Asian consortium PT Asia Cellular Satellite (ACeS) in mid-1998.
A signing ceremony took place last month in Jakarta, Indonesia, to formalize the ACeS agreement among all of the principals including the Proton contracting affiliate for ILS, Lockheed Khrunichev Enterprises (LKE); systems integrator Lockheed Martin Telecommunications, Inc.; and satellite builder Lockheed Martin Missiles and Space.
This new agreement increases the number of firm launch commitments for commercial Proton to 17. The first launch of a commercial Proton took place in early April of this year under the auspices of ILS.
“This is significant new business for commercial Proton,” said Charles H. Lloyd, President – Proton Division, ILS. “We will be launching an important satellite for ACeS that offers new and wide-ranging telecommunications services throughout Asia,” Lloyd said.
The ACeS consortium includes PT Pasifik Satelit Nusantara of Indonesia, Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company and Jasmine International Overseas Company Ltd. of Thailand.
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.
ILS, through its LKEI affiliate, presently holds six commercial Proton launch contracts for a total backlog of 17 launch commitments. The combined ILS Proton and Atlas backlog is in excess of $2.5 billion.