McLEAN, Va., Jan. 26, 2001 – International Launch Services (ILS) wrapped up the year 2000 with a record-setting number of both successful launches and of new orders.
Based in McLean, Va., the 5-year-old company led the industry in 2000 with 100% success in its 14 missions on its two launch vehicles. ILS, a joint venture of Lockheed Martin Commercial Launch Services and Lockheed Khrunichev Energia International, provides launch services to customers worldwide using both the American Atlas and the Russian Proton rocket families. Eight of last year's launches were on Atlas rockets and six were on Proton. The six ILS commercial missions were among a total of 14 last year for Proton, which also launches satellites for the Russian government.
ILS' year-end backlog of approximately $3 billion includes $1 billion in new orders for both vehicle families brought in during 2000. These include firm contracts for launches of 16 geostationary or medium-earth-orbit commercial communications satellites and options for 17 more. Those customers include such satellite owners and operators as Teledesic, Astrolink, GE Americom, AsiaSat and Hispasat, as well as satellite manufacturers. In addition to the commercial orders, NASA selected the ILS Atlas to launch future interplanetary and near-Earth missions, under an Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity contract.
"The year 2000 was a landmark year for us," noted ILS President Mark Albrecht. "We had more successful missions than any other launch provider, we took in more orders than any of our competitors in the commercial marketplace, and we completed our relocation from San Diego to the Washington, D.C., area. We successfully launched the first rocket in our Lockheed Martin Atlas III product line. That flight also proved out the majority of the technologies that will be used on our upcoming Atlas V.
"To top things off, the U.S. government allowed its quota on Russian launches of U.S. satellites to expire at the end of the year, which allows us greater opportunities to sell more launches on Khrunichev's highly reliable Proton,ï¿½ Albrecht continued.
Albrecht attributed the year's performance "to our ability to provide superior products and high-quality services at competitive prices."
"We look for 2001 to be just as robust a year," Albrecht said. Earlier this month ILS announced an agreement with Sociï¿½tï¿½ Europï¿½enne des Satellites of Luxembourg for two Proton launches this year.
ILS was formed in 1995. Its Atlas rockets and their Centaur upper stages are built by Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company-Astronautics Operations at facilities in Denver, Colo.; Harlingen, Texas; and San Diego, Calif. The three-stage Proton is produced by Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center at its factory near Moscow. The fourth stage is built by RSC Energia, also near Moscow.
ILS offers the broadest range of launcher products in the world along with the highest reliability in the industry.