McLEAN, Va., June 18, 2002 – SES AMERICOM has signed a contract with International Launch Services (ILS) for the launch of two cable television satellites in 2004. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The contract calls for ILS to launch both satellites, AMC-10 and AMC-11, during the first half of 2004. Atlas IIAS is the primary vehicle, with a Proton M vehicle as the backup. ILS thus has received 15 new orders in the last 18 months, out of 34 open for competition. The ILS backlog now stands at 33 missions.
"ILS has had a long-standing and successful relationship with both AMERICOM and its parent company, SES GLOBAL, with nine launches," said ILS President Mark Albrecht. "In fact, an SES satellite was carried on ILS' first Proton launch. We're pleased they have again demonstrated their confidence by selecting the most reliable vehicles for their critical replacement satellites." He noted that SES GLOBAL and its affiliated companies have placed six of their eight upcoming missions on ILS vehicles (ASTRA 1K; AMC-9, -10, -11, -12; and AsiaSat 4).
AMC-10 and AMC-11 are A2100 model spacecraft being built by Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems, to replace satellites at 131 and 135 degrees West longitude that are nearing the end of their life in orbit. These next-generation satellites will combine to form AMERICOM's premiere cable neighborhood, featuring programming from Viacom, Crown/Hallmark, C-SPAN, Scripps Networks, USA Networks and The Weather Channel, all of which will be distributed across the 50 United States, Mexico and the Caribbean.
ILS, based in McLean, Va., is a joint venture, formed in 1995, of Lockheed Martin Corp. (NYSE: LMT) and two Russian companies, Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center and RSC Energia. ILS markets and manages the missions for the Atlas and Proton vehicles. With two independent, highly reliable vehicles and two dedicated launch sites, ILS pioneered the concept of Mutual Backup, thus assuring satellites will be launched on schedule.
The Atlas family of vehicles has a record of 60 consecutive successful launches over nine years with commercial and U.S. government payloads. The Atlas II and Atlas III series boast 100 percent success, including launches in February and March of this year. The next-generation Atlas V is scheduled to begin flying in July.
The Proton has completed 23 consecutive successful missions in 28 months with payloads for ILS and for the Russian government. The most recent ILS launches carried satellites for Intelsat in March and DIRECTV in May. A mission for the Russian government was completed June 10, and an ILS launch for EchoStar is set for this weekend. The ASTRA 1K satellite for SES GLOBAL is set to launch in August.
ILS offers the broadest range of launch services in the world along with products with the highest reliability in the industry. ILS' 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 and the Breeze M upper stage are assembled by Khrunichev at its plant near Moscow. The alternative Block DM upper stage is built by Energia, also near Moscow.
About SES AMERICOM
With over 25 years' experience, SES AMERICOM, Inc., is recognized as a pioneer and leading provider of global satellite communications services, currently providing capacity on 16 spacecraft capable of serving the Americas, Europe, the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean regions, and Asia. As an SES GLOBAL company, AMERICOM is able to provide end-to-end telecommunications solutions to any region in the world.