Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems Wins Order for A2100 Satellites For GE American Communications
SUNNYVALE, CA, February 3rd, 1999 -- Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems recently received orders from GE American Communications (GE Americom) to build four A2100 geostationary satellites to provide telecommunications service to the U.S. market. Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems is an operating unit of Lockheed Martin Missiles & Space. "We are very pleased to be selected as the supplier of these satellites to GE Americom," said Peter Kujawski, president of Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems. "In our highly competitive industry, Lockheed Martin's edge is our ability to deliver advanced, high performance products at an attractive price to blue-chip customers like GE Americom." The new spacecraft -- GE-6, GE-7, GE-8 and GE-9 -- will be used to serve the expanding needs of GE Americom's customers, providing satellite distribution of broadcast and cable television programming. GE-6, scheduled for launch in the fall of 2000, will supplement domestic coverage by GE-1, 2, and 3 currently on orbit, and GE-4 after its late 1999 launch. The hybrid C/Ku-band GE-6 will be a very large A2100 satellite. In contrast, GE-7, GE-8 and GE-9 will be based on the smallest A2100 bus platform available, offering GE Americom highly cost-effective, small satellites. GE-7, scheduled for launch in early 2000, will provide C-band telecommunications coverage for GE Americom clients. GE-8 will provide backup coverage for GE Americom's domestic telecommunications satellite fleet. GE-9 will be used as a back-up satellite for GE-7 and GE-8 and is planned for launch in early 2001. "We take great pride in offering our customers the highest transponder availability in the industry. Our work with Lockheed Martin on the design and construction of our satellites has contributed to this success" said John Connelly, chairman and chief executive officer for GE Americom. "The four new satellites will give us the capacity we need to meet the bandwidth and coverage demands of our customers' expanding applications and replace retiring spacecraft with more powerful and efficient capacity." The first A2100s were designed with and built for GE Americom. The hybrid C/Ku-band GE-4 and all Ku-band GE-1A satellites are currently in production at the Lockheed Martin Commercial Satellite Center, one of the largest, most efficient facilities in the industry. Based in Sunnyvale, CA, the center's co-located assembly and test facilities dramatically reduce the production cycle and can accommodate up to 16 satellites each year. The A2100's geosynchronous spacecraft is designed to meet a wide variety of telecommunications needs ranging from fixed satellite services in a hybrid Ku- and C-bands payload configuration to high power direct broadcast services using the Ku-band frequency spectrum. The A2100's modular design features a reduction in parts, simplifying construction, increasing on-orbit reliability and reducing weight and cost. The A2100 bus is produced entirely from composite materials, which makes it stronger and lighter than other bus designs and reduces launch costs. The composite structure also protects the payload from thermal distortions. With over 20 years of experience, GE Americom is recognized as a pioneer and a leading provider of global satellite communications solutions. These solutions primarily provide the distribution of broadcast and cable television programming and digital/broadband services over satellite. As one of the world's largest satellite operators, GE Americom currently operates twelve satellites providing satellite-based solutions to North America. In Europe, its GE-1E satellite provides high-powered Ku-band service to European and Middle Eastern television markets. With the launch of GE-4 in late 1999 and as an owner of Argentine satellite operator NahuelSAt, GE Americom is expanding its delivery of satellite-based communications services throughout South and Latin America. And with the launch of GE-1A into108 degrees E.L., GE Americom's satellite interests will reach more than 90% of the world's population. Some of GE Americom's key international customers include Viacom, Time Warner/Turner Broadcasting, Discovery, NBC, NHK, Disney, Deutsche Welle and Merlin. GE Capital, with assets of more than US$300 billion, is a global, diversified financial services company with 28 specialized businesses. A wholly-owned subsidiary of General Electric Company, GE Capital, based in Stamford, CT, provides equipment management, mid-market and specialized financing, specialty insurance and a variety of consumer services, such as car leasing, home mortgages and credit cards, to businesses and individuals around the world. GE is a diversified manufacturing, technology and services company with operations worldwide. Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems markets, designs and builds geostationary and non-geostationary communications and remote sensing satellites for customers worldwide, including Lockheed Martin Global Telecommunications. In addition, Commercial Space Systems offers turnkey space-based systems including the spacecraft, ground systems, launch operations and on-orbit support. Lockheed Martin Missiles & Space is a leading supplier of satellites to military, civil and government organizations around the world. These spacecraft have enhanced global communications; provided new, extensive and timely weather information; and furnished new data for thousands of scientists studying our planet and space. More than 750 spacecraft built by Missiles & Space have been launched since 1958, including more than 135 commercial satellites.