Press Release

AMC-18 Successfully Launched from Kourou Spaceport

By SpaceRef Editor
December 8, 2006
Filed under , ,

Ariane 5 ECA Performs Perfectly

SES GLOBAL (Paris:SESG – News; LuxX:SESG) announces that the AMERICOM-18 (AMC-18) satellite which is to be operated by SES AMERICOM, an SES GLOBAL company, was successfully launched onboard an Arianespace Ariane 5 ECA launch vehicle from the French Guiana Spaceport in Kourou today at 7:08 p.m. local time (5:08 p.m. Eastern U.S.; 11:08 p.m. CET). After 32 minutes, the spacecraft, an A2100-type satellite built by Lockheed Martin, separated from the Ariane Upper Stage and was placed into geostationary transfer orbit and within moments the satellite sent an initial signal which was received at Lockheed Martin’s Uralla, Australia facility. (6:08 p.m. Eastern U.S.; 00:08 a.m. CET on December 9th).

Edward D. Horowitz, President and CEO of SES AMERICOM, said, “The launch of AMC-18 is a proud moment for the AMERICOM team. It is also a proud moment for the Lockheed Martin team who has built and delivered an exceptional spacecraft, and for the Ariane team, which has just launched the 25th spacecraft for SES.” He continued, “We now look forward to bringing AMC-18 into service as we will be creating America’s only three-satellite HDTV neighborhood, HD-PRIME(TM). At this tipping point in the development of the HD market, we’re investing in critically needed bandwidth to fuel this new channel growth.”

Marshall Byrd, Vice President and General Manager, Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems, said, “Lockheed Martin has a tremendous history with SES AMERICOM, starting with the launch of Satcom F1 in 1975. 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.” Jean-Yves Le Gall, President and CEO of Arianespace, said, “I would like to thank SES AMERICOM for placing their confidence in Arianespace to deliver AMC-18 safely into orbit. AMC-18 is the twenty-fifth satellite that Arianespace launched for SES GLOBAL, representing 22 years of fruitful cooperation.” About AMC-18

AMC-18 is an all C-band satellite, designed to offer full North American coverage including all 50 U.S. states, the Caribbean and Mexico from 105 degrees West longitude. It will become the third satellite in the HD-PRIME neighbourhood, joining AMC-10 and AMC-11, which are near capacity. In addition, cable head ends are enjoying access easy-to-install triple-feed antennas accessing AMC-18 plus two additional cable satellites, AMC-1 at 103 degrees West and AMC-4 at 101 degrees West. Working with its customers and the cable industry, AMERICOM has installed triple-feed antennas at cable head-ends serving the majority of the U.S. cable households to facilitate their reception of cable programming from all three spacecraft.

AMC-18 was procured by SES GLOBAL Satellite Leasing Ltd., an SES company located on the Isle of Man; the spacecraft will be operated and marketed by SES AMERICOM. The satellite, built by Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems (LMCSS), will be the 13th A2100-based spacecraft in the AMERICOM fleet. LMCSS will perform the transfer orbit operation and deliver AMC-18 to 80 degrees West; AMERICOM takes over the spacecraft to begin in-orbit testing on December 19th.


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. For more information, visit


Monica Morgan, + 1-609-987-4143
Yves Feltes, +352 710 725 311

SpaceRef staff editor.