Press Release

Lockheed Martin-Built VINASAT-1 Satellite Launched Successfully for Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group

By SpaceRef Editor
April 18, 2008
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The VINASAT-1 communications satellite, designed and built by Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) for Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group (VNPT) of Vietnam, was successfully launched today from Kourou, French Guiana. Lift-off occurred at 6:17 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) aboard an Ariane 5-ECA launch vehicle provided by Arianespace of Evry, France. Initial contact with the satellite was confirmed at 7:30 p.m. EDT from Lockheed Martin’s satellite tracking station in Uralla, Australia.

VINASAT-1 is based on Lockheed Martin’s A2100A spacecraft platform and features 12 operating Ku Band transponders providing coverage over Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and part of Myanmar. The spacecraft also features 8 C-Band primary transponders providing coverage over Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Southeast Asia, India, Japan and Australia. It is designed for a minimum service life of 15 years and will be located at orbital slot 132 degrees east.

“Lockheed Martin is extremely pleased to deliver the first satellite system procured by the nation of Vietnam,” said Vice President & General Manager Marshall Byrd. “From the beginning of the VINASAT-1 program in May 2006, Lockheed Martin and VNPT have worked together in a successful collaborative relationship to ensure on-time delivery of the satellite. Lockheed Martin values VNPT as an important business partner and is proud of the trust that VNPT has placed in Lockheed Martin.”

The turnkey satellite system is expected to improve telecommunications in Vietnam by transmitting radio, television and telephone communications to all corners of the country. The spacecraft will enable state-of-the-art communications, providing the Vietnamese people the opportunity to use multiple new services such as mobile broadcasting, direct-to-home television, video conferencing and data transmission. VINASAT-1 will also improve the nation’s communication networks infrastructure by removing dependence on ground networks and allowing 100% of Vietnam’s rural communities to be equipped with telephones and televisions.

“The launch of VINASAT-1 is very timely for us,” said VNPT Vice President Bui Thien Minh. “The Vietnamese economy is well on its way to becoming fully integrated with the world economy, and VNPT requires a completed telecommunications network to increase our market growth. Customers want to be offered all options for their communication needs.”

In addition to VNPT, Lockheed Martin has delivered 18 spacecraft to Asian customers, including eight A2100 satellites. The Lockheed Martin 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. This design modularity also enables the A2100 spacecraft to be configured for missions other than communication. The A2100 design is currently being adapted for 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. The A2100 also serves as the platform for critical government communications programs including Advanced Extremely High Frequency and Mobile User Objective System and is the foundation for Lockheed Martin’s Transformational Satellite Communications System (TSAT) offering for the U.S. Government.

About VNPT Group The Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group (VNPT) (http://www.vnpt.com.vn) is a leading economic group in Vietnam, which boasts modern technological and managerial skills and high level of specialization. VNPT involves in multi-businesses and multi-sectors, of which posts, telecommunications and IT are major. VNPT applies different types of ownership in its businesses, while at the same time maintaining a close combination between business and science and technology, R&D and training. VNPT has set up co-operative relationships with hundreds of foreign partners, and has opened its branch in the US.

VNPT has about 90,000 employees. VNPT generated a revenue of VND 45.8 trillion in 2007, earning a profit of over VND 14 trillion.

About Lockheed Martin

Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems is a unit of Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company. 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.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin employs about 140,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation reported 2007 sales of $41.9 billion.

SpaceRef staff editor.