LOCKHEED MARTIN-BUILT AMC-16 SATELLITE LAUNCHED SUCCESSFULLY FROM CAPE CANAVERAL
CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla., 17-DEC-04 -- The AMC-16 telecommunications satellite, designed and built by Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] for SES AMERICOM, was successfully launched today aboard a Lockheed Martin-built Atlas V rocket provided by International Launch Services (ILS). Initial contact with the satellite, called acquisition of signal, was confirmed at 9:41 a.m. EST from the Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems (LMCSS) satellite tracking station in Alpha, NJ.
AMC-16, a hybrid satellite, is expected to provide service from the 85 degrees west longitude orbital position in the first quarter of 2005. It will feature the second operating Ka-band payload in the SES AMERICOM fleet, with 12 spot-beams and 24-36Mhz transponders of Ku-band capacity for both fixed satellite service or direct broadcast service. The Ka-band beams will be deployed in a pattern to take advantage of frequency re-use while eliminating interference between and among the beams. The satellite’s dry mass (weight minus propellant and pressurant) is 4312 pounds and it is designed for a 15-year life with a fuel load in excess of 20 years. SES AMERICOM, through its AMERICOM2Home™ initiative, has an agreement with EchoStar Communications Corporation, a leading U.S. satellite TV provider, to use both payloads on AMC-16.
“With today’s successful launch of AMC-16, Lockheed Martin has delivered 12 of our A2100 satellite series to our long-standing customer SES AMERICOM,” said Ted Gavrilis, president, LMCSS. “The impressive record of the A2100 is a testament to our relentless focus on mission success and commitment to providing world-class, high performance spacecraft on schedule to our customers.”
AMC-16 is the fourth Lockheed Martin-built satellite ILS has launched in 2004 to expand SES AMERICOM's world-wide fleet of satellites, which provide global distribution of cable, broadcast television and radio programming, mobile communications, business television, broadband data and telecommunications services. AMC-10 and AMC-11 were successfully launched on Atlas IIAS vehicles from Cape Canaveral in February and May 2004, respectively. AMC-15, which features the first Ka-band operating payload in the SES AMERICOM fleet, was successfully launched in October aboard an ILS Proton vehicle from Baikonur, Kazakhstan in October. AMC-16 will combine with AMC-15 to be the first pair of many satellites dedicated to AMERICOM2Home™, an SES AMERICOM service designed to bring the best in satellite resources to direct-to-home operators in North America.
Andreas Georghiou, SES AMERICOM’s Senior Vice President of Business Operations, said, “We have great expectations for the AMC-16 satellite, including 15-plus years of reliable performance. When AMC-16 becomes fully operational in the first quarter, it will enhance the services offered to millions of EchoStar’s DISH Network subscribers.”
The A2100 geosynchronous spacecraft series is designed to meet a wide variety of telecommunications needs including Ka-band broadband and broadcast services, fixed satellite services in C-band and Ku-band payload configurations, high-power direct broadcast services using the Ku-band frequency spectrum, and mobile satellite services using UHF, L-band, and S-band payloads. The A2100's modular design features a reduction in parts, simplified construction, increased on-orbit reliability and reduced weight and cost.
Recently, Lockheed Martin’s A2100 telecommunications satellite series received an industry award for reliability for the second consecutive year. Frost & Sullivan’s 2004 Satellite Reliability Award was given to LMCSS for excellence in the production of flexible and reliable communications satellites used in geosynchronous Earth orbit (GEO). Frost and Sullivan concluded that for the majority of satellite services, the A2100 had the lowest rate of anomalies and is the most reliable commercial satellite bus currently available.
About SES AMERICOM
The largest supplier of satellite services in the U.S., SES AMERICOM, Inc. is recognized as a pioneer of global satellite communications services for media, enterprise, and government. Established in 1973 with its first satellite circuit for the U.S. Department of Defense, the company currently operates a fleet of 16 spacecraft in orbital positions predominantly providing service throughout the Americas. As a member of the SES GLOBAL family, SES AMERICOM is able to provide bandwidth for media content distribution and end-to-end telecommunications solutions to any region in the world. In 2001, the company established AMERICOM Government Services, a wholly owned subsidiary dedicated to providing satellite-based communications solutions to both civilian and defense agencies of the U.S. government. In 2003, SES AMERICOM formed WORLDSAT to market its international satellites covering Asia and the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean regions, and connecting premier regional satellite fleets. With its combined operations, SES AMERICOM serves broadcasters, cable programmers, aeronautical and maritime communications integrators, Internet service providers, mobile communications networks, government agencies, educational institutions, carriers and secure global data networks with efficient communication and content distribution solutions.
About International Launch Services (ILS)
ILS is a joint venture of Lockheed Martin and Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center of Russia. ILS has established itself as the indisputable launch services leader by offering the industry's two best launch systems: Khrunichev’s Proton and the Lockheed Martin-built Atlas. With a remarkable launch rate of 69 missions since 2000, the Atlas and Proton launch vehicles have consistently demonstrated the reliability and flexibility that have made them the vehicles of choice. Since the beginning of 2003, ILS has signed more new commercial contracts than all its competitors combined. ILS was formed in 1995, and is based in McLean, Va., a suburb of Washington, D.C.
About Lockheed Martin