Lockheed Martin marks 31st consecutive A2100 success with the launch of AMC-18 satellite
KOUROU, French Guiana, 08-DEC-06 -- The AMC-18 telecommunications satellite, designed and built by Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] for SES GLOBAL (Euronext Paris and Luxembourg stock exchanges SESG), was successfully launched today from Kourou, French Guiana. Lift-off occurred at 5:08 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) aboard an Ariane 5 launch vehicle provided by Arianespace of Evry, France. Initial contact with the satellite, called acquisition of signal, was confirmed at 6:12 p.m. EST from Lockheed Martin's satellite tracking station in Uralla, Australia.
Built by Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems (LMCSS), Newtown, Pa., AMC-18 is the fifth successful A2100 satellite launched and the second A2100 by Arianespace this year. The successful launch of AMC-18 represents the 31st launch of an A2100 spacecraft for customers worldwide and all 31 currently are operational.
AMC-18 is an advanced C-band satellite that will carry twenty-four 36 MHz C-band transponders used to provide cable programming and broadcast services to the 50 United States and the Caribbean. AMC-18 is expected to provide more than 15 years of design life and will expand SES AMERICOM's fleet of satellites, which provide distribution of cable, broadcast television and radio, telecommunications services, business television and broadband data throughout the Americas and transoceanic regions. Optimized for next-generation programming services, AMC-18 also carries high-definition channels.
“Lockheed Martin has a tremendous history with SES AMERICOM, starting with the launch of Satcom F1 in 1975,” said LMCSS Vice-President & General Manager Marshall Byrd. “The first A2100 spacecraft, AMC-1, was launched in 1996 for SES AMERICOM. Lockheed Martin recognizes and deeply appreciates the trust that SES AMERICOM has placed in us throughout our 30-year business relationship and we are proud once again to provide mission success for one of our most long-standing customers.”
Edward Horowitz, President and CEO of SES AMERICOM, said, “We celebrate the accomplishments of the LMCSS team for the delivery of another well designed and built spacecraft that will enable us to expand the resources we provide to the cable community as they ramp up the production and distribution of high definition channels.” He continued, “We are also anticipating the completion by LMCSS of AMAERICOM’S Ku-band BSS satellite, AMC-14, which we expect to launch before the end of next year.”
AMC-18 is the 13th A2100 series spacecraft designed, built and launched for SES AMERICOM by Lockheed Martin. Lockheed Martin is currently building AMC-14, which is scheduled to be launched in 2007.
Lockheed Martin's 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, 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.
The A2100 spacecraft’s design accommodates a large range of communication payloads as demonstrated by the 31 spacecraft successfully flown to date. This design modularity also enables the A2100 spacecraft to be configured for missions other than communications. The A2100 design is currently being adapted for medium Earth orbit (MEO) missions and geostationary Earth orbit (GEO)-based Earth observing missions and is currently the baselined platform for Lockheed Martin’s Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite Series-R (GOES-R) proposal.
About SES AMERICOM
The largest supplier of satellite services in the U.S., SES AMERICOM is recognized as a pioneer of global satellite communications services. Celebrating the 30th anniversary of the launch of its first satellite, the company today operates a fleet of 18 spacecraft in orbital positions predominantly providing service throughout the Americas. As a member of the SES GLOBAL family, SES AMERICOM is able to provide end-to-end telecommunications solutions to any region of the world via a fleet of 44 satellites. In addition, AMERICOM Government Services, a wholly owned subsidiary, is dedicated to providing satellite-based communications solutions to both civilian and defense agencies of the U.S. government. 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.
Created in 1980 as the world’s first commercial space transportation company, Arianespace has signed contracts for the launch of more than 270 satellite payloads. For further information, see the Arianespace Web site at www.arianespace.com.
About Lockheed Martin
Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, a major operating unit of Lockheed Martin Corporation, designs, develops, tests, manufactures and operates a full spectrum of advanced-technology systems for national security, civil and commercial customers. Chief products include human space flight systems; a full range of remote sensing, navigation, meteorological and communications satellites and instruments; space observatories and interplanetary spacecraft; laser radar; fleet ballistic missiles; and missile defense systems.