Headlines > News > Orbital Wins Major Commercial Satellite Contract With SES AMERICOM

Orbital Wins Major Commercial Satellite Contract With SES AMERICOM

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Wed May 9, 2007 7:22 am
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Orbital Press Release:
– New Contract Includes Two Firm Orders for Satellites to be Delivered in 2009 –
– Spacecraft for SES AMERICOM to be Based on Orbitals Most Powerful Version of the STAR 2 Satellite Platform –

(Dulles, VA 8 May 2007) – Orbital Sciences Corporation (NYSE: ORB) continues to lead the global market for smaller-sized geosynchronous (GEO) communications satellites with an announcement today that it has received an order from SES AMERICOM for as many as five new satellites over a multi-year period. Orbital stated that SES AMERICOM of Princeton, NJ, has placed a firm order for two new satellites, the first designated as AMC-5R and the second a ground spare that will be launched to another orbital location as a future replacement satellite. Deliveries of the first two satellites are scheduled for mid- and late-2009, respectively. In addition to the two satellites that Orbital will immediately begin constructing, the contract gives SES AMERICOM the option to order up to three more identical satellites over the next few years.

The AMC-5R and the identical ground spare spacecraft will be hybrid satellites, each carrying 24 active C-band and 24 Ku-band transponders of 36 MHz capacity each. Some of the channels in each band will also be cross-strapped, enabling new service capability. Each spacecraft will generate approximately five kilowatts of payload power and will have two deployable reflectors.

“Orbital is very proud to have been selected by SES AMERICOM for this highly significant order,” said Mr. Carl Marchetto, the company’s Executive Vice President and General Manager of its Space Systems Group. “Our entire team is eager to demonstrate that SES AMERICOM’s trust and confidence in our product and our people is well placed.”

“After an intensive review of the available products on the market that address our fleet planning requirements, we determined that Orbital’s STAR satellite offered just the right balance between performance, capacity and cost, with an aggressive but achievable delivery schedule,” said Mr. Jim Ducay, SES AMERICOM’s Chief Operating Officer. “We are moving forward with the replacement of AMC-5 to add capacity and flexibility enabling new service developments and enhancements.”

Orbital’s commercial satellite business has experienced rapid growth over the past several years. Including the new SES AMERICOM order, the company currently has 12 commercial GEO spacecraft in various stages of design, production and testing at its Dulles, VA satellite manufacturing facility. To accommodate this growth, earlier this year Orbital completed an expansion of its manufacturing plant that, together with other facility improvements, has increased its manufacturing throughput capacity by over 30% as compared to one year ago.

Mr. Mike Larkin, Orbital’s Senior Vice President of its Space Systems Group, who was instrumental in securing and negotiating the new contract with SES AMERICOM, summarized the significance of the new order, stating, “This new contract for the AMC-5R and ground spare satellites greatly expands Orbital’s relationship with the SES Global family of satellite services companies. With SES AMERICOM’s AMC-21 platform and SES New Skies’ NSS-9 spacecraft, which were ordered last year, now well along in their design and manufacturing phases, we are delighted to be able to play an expanded role in SES Global’s spacecraft fleet strategy for the future.”

About Orbital
Orbital develops and manufactures small rockets and space systems for commercial, military and civil government customers. The company’s primary products are satellites and launch vehicles, including low-orbit, geosynchronous-orbit and planetary spacecraft for communications, remote sensing, scientific and defense missions; ground- and air-launched rockets that deliver satellites into orbit; and missile defense systems that are used as interceptor and target vehicles. Orbital also offers space-related technical services to government agencies and develops and builds satellite-based transportation management systems for public transit agencies and private vehicle fleet operators.

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