Press Release

Lockheed Martin Awarded Contract to Build Three A2100 Satellites for GE American Communications

By SpaceRef Editor
September 6, 2001
Filed under , ,

Lockheed Martin Commercial
Space Systems (LMCSS) today announced the award of a contract to build
three A2100 geosynchronous satellites for GE American Communications,
Inc. (GE Americom). The next generation cable television satellites,
designated GE-10, GE-11, and GE-18, will provide distribution of
premium cable programming across North America.

“We are extremely pleased that GE Americom has selected Lockheed
Martin to provide three more A2100 communications satellites to
replace the Lockheed Martin-built Satcom C-3 and Satcom C-4
satellites,” said Ted Gavrilis, president, Lockheed Martin Commercial
Space Systems. “Our flight-proven A2100 satellite combined with GE
Americom’s operational excellence has provided a powerful, dependable
solution for telecommunications customers worldwide. We look forward
to continuing our 25-year relationship with GE Americom as the company
joins forces with SES to jointly create a global organization and
transitions their customers to the next generation premium cable
neighborhoods.”

All three spacecraft will carry twenty-four, 36 MHz C-band
transponders and be used to provide cable television services to the
50 United States, Mexico and the Caribbean. GE-10 will take the place
of GE Satcom C-4 and GE-11 will replace GE Satcom C-3, which currently
operate from their orbital locations at 135 degrees West and 131
degrees West Longitude, respectively. GE-18 is being developed as a
ground spare that could operate from either 131 or 135 degrees West
Longitude. The satellites will expand GE Americom’s global fleet of
satellites, which provide global distribution of cable, broadcast
television and radio, telecommunications services, business television
and broadband data.

John F. Connelly, chairman and CEO, GE Americom, said, “The
satellites that we have just ordered from Lockheed are critical to the
future of our premier cable neighborhood at 131 and 135 degrees West.
These next generation spacecraft will feature more power and
redundancy than their predecessors; essential to our committed cable
customers, Viacom, Court TV, C-SPAN, InDemand, Lifetime Television and
The Weather Channel. We have every confidence that these will be as
robust and high performing as the other eight A2100 spacecraft
providing service in our fleet today.”

Paul Heimbach, senior vice president/chief technology officer,
Viacom Inc., commented, “We are remaining with GE Americom because
they have a proven track record of launching and operating reliable
and robust satellite systems. Also, because GE-10 and GE-11 are
located at the same orbital position as C-3 and C-4, the transition to
GE-10 and GE-11 will be virtually seamless for our distributors.” He
continued, “The combination of Lockheed Martin’s powerful A2100
spacecraft and GE Americom’s flexibility and willingness to meet and
even exceed our requirements will enhance the ability of our cable
networks to continue to introduce new and advanced digital services
and applications such as high definition television, subscription
video on demand, streaming media and interactive TV.”

The new satellites will be the ninth, tenth and eleventh A2100
series spacecraft designed and built for GE Americom by Lockheed
Martin Commercial Space Systems. The A2100 geosynchronous spacecraft
is designed to meet a wide variety of telecommunications needs ranging
from Ka band/Broadband services, fixed satellite services in a hybrid
Ku- and C-band 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.

About GE Americom

With over 25 years’ experience, GE American Communications, Inc.
is recognized as a pioneer and leading provider of global satellite
communications solutions. GE Americom is able to provide end-to-end
telecommunications solutions to any region in the world through a
fleet of 20 satellites. GE Americom’s key customers include ABC Radio
Networks, AT&T Alascom, British Telecom, Cidera, Deutsche Welle,
Discovery, Disney, Gannett, ICG, Merlin, NBC, The New York Times, NHK,
PaxNet, PBS, TELE Greenland, TV Europa, Viacom and TimeWarner/Turner
Broadcasting.

On March 28, 2001, GE Capital announced with Societe Europeenne
des Satellites that they plan to combine the assets of GE Americom and
SES ASTRA to form a new premier global satellite company, SES Global.
The new company will have a fleet of 29 satellites and be able to
deliver broadband satellites services to more than 90% of the world’s
population. In addition, SES Global’s strategic partnerships and
participations in AsiaSat, NSAB, Star One, Americom Asia-Pacific and
Nahuelsat will combine to give entertainment, Internet, news and
enterprise customers access to a fleet of 42 satellites. When the
transaction is finalized, GE Capital will hold a 25.1% economic
interest and 20.1% voting interest in SES Global S.A.

Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems markets, designs and
builds geostationary and non-geostationary telecommunications and
remote sensing satellites for customers worldwide. LMCSS is an
operating unit of Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, one of the
core business areas of the Lockheed Martin Corp. Lockheed
Martin has a 41-year heritage of building reliable spacecraft for
commercial and military customers, having launched more than 875
spacecraft and clocking nearly 1,500 years of on-orbit performance
experience.

NOTE TO EDITORS: Low- and high-resolution JPEG image files of the
GE-10, GE-11, and GE-18, are available at the following URL:
http://lmms.external.lmco.com/photos/commercial_space/ and click on GE
Americom.

SpaceRef staff editor.