Press Release

SES GLOBAL Companies contract three satellite launches with ILS

By SpaceRef Editor
April 19, 2004
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SES ASTRA and SES AMERICOM, both operating companies of SES GLOBAL (Luxembourg and Frankfurt Stock Exchanges: SESG), and ILS (International Launch Services) announce a new contract for the launch of three satellites onboard American Atlas and Russian Proton boosters provided by ILS. Under the terms of the contract, AMC-16 is slated for launch onboard Proton / Breeze M from Baikonur in Q1 2005, AMC-14 is to lift off on Atlas 5 from Cape Canaveral in Q1 2006, and ASTRA 1L will be placed into orbit also on Proton / Breeze M in Q4 2006. Financial terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Comments Romain Bausch, President and CEO of SES GLOBAL: “This important contract is the first joint transaction by SES AMERICOM and SES ASTRA. It clearly demonstrates the capital expenditure synergies than can be achieved through efficient global sourcing under the umbrella of SES GLOBAL.”

“With three firm missions, this is one of the largest commercial launch contracts the industry has seen in years,” said ILS President Mark Albrecht. “The SES companies individually are long-time and valued customers, and we’re pleased to be continuing the relationship with the SES family in this combined contract. We have launched 12 SES AMERICOM and SES ASTRA satellites and with this new order we will have a backlog of 7 launches with the SES companies.” Albrecht continued: “As the satellite industry changes, launch contracts like this one that provide the added value of reliability and schedule assurance will become more the rule than the exception. Only ILS has the diversity, and flexibility to offer schedule assurance on two vehicles through a single contract and one team.”

AMERICOM-16 (AMC-16) is a hybrid Ku/Ka-band satellite being built by Lockheed Martin on the reliable A2100 platform. The first mission of AMC-16 is as a ground spare for AMC-15, a satellite scheduled for launch in Q3 2004, so it is being constructed identically in terms of the payload configuration. The spacecraft features 24 (36 MHz) Ku-band transponders, 12 (125 MHz) Ka-band spot beams and the highest levels of redundancy on core components such as amplifiers, receivers, commanding beam and computer control systems.

AMERICOM-14 (AMC-14) is a BSS satellite also built by Lockheed Martin with 32 (24 MHz) Ku-band transponders each supported by a 150 watt TWTA; like AMC-16, the spacecraft features the highest levels of redundancy on core components such as amplifiers, receivers, commanding beam and computer control systems.The satellite will provide Direct to Home services in the United States from a slot to be determined. AMC-14 will be the first BSS satellite operated in SES AMERICOMís domestic fleet.

Dean Olmstead, President and CEO of SES AMERICOM, said: “The missions of both AMC-16 and AMC-14 are critical to the expanding role of AMERICOM2Home? in providing bandwidth for new high definition, local-into-local and interactive broadband services enabling U.S. consumers to enjoy a full suite of satellite-based entertainment, information and Internet applications. We are entrusting these missions to ILS, confidently expecting them to launch them on time, on budget and to spec.”

ASTRA 1L is also being built by Lockheed Martin on the A2100 platform and features 29 active Ku band transponders (FSS and BSS) as well as two Ka-band transponders, with a TWTA output power of 140 watts and a pan-European footprint. With an expected launch weight of approximately 4300 kilograms and a design life of 15 years, the spacecraftís primary mission will be to replace ASTRA 1E and to reinforce SES ASTRAís renowned intersatellite back-up concept at the companyís prime Continental European DTH position of 19.2? East. The Ka-band payload will support interactive services like ASTRA BBI (Broadband Interactive) and Satmode, a low-cost satellite return channel for digital set top boxes.

Ferdinand Kayser, President and CEO of SES ASTRA, stated: “We look forward to working with ILSís dedicated professionals at the Baikonur Cosmodrome as we prepare for the launch of ASTRA 1L, an important replacement satellite which will further bolster ASTRAís comprehensive inter-satellite back-up scheme at the worldís most popular orbital position of 19.2? East.”

For further information please contact:

Yves Feltes
Press Relations, SES GLOBAL
Tel. +352 710 725 311


About ILS
ILS was formed in 1995 as a joint venture of Lockheed Martin Corp. (NYSE:LMT) of the United States, manufacturer of the Atlas rocket, and Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center of Russia, builder of the Proton vehicle. ILS provides launch services on the Atlas and Proton vehicles to customers worldwide, including technical, management and marketing expertise. It offers the broadest range of launch services in the world along with the highest reliability in the industry.


The ASTRA Satellite System is Europeís leading Direct-to-Home satellite system, delivering services to more than 92 million Direct-to-Home and cable households. The ASTRA satellite fleet currently comprises 13 satellites, transmitting in excess of 1100 analogue and digital television and radio channels as well as multimedia and Internet services. ASTRAís two prime orbital positions for DTH (Direct-To-Home) services are 19.2? East and 28.2? East. Professional services like Direct-to cable (DTC), Satellite Newsgathering (SNG) and Occasional Use are offered from the orbital positions of 23.5?/24.2? East and 5.2? East.


The largest supplier of satellite services in the U.S., SES AMERICOM, Inc. is recognized as a pioneer of global satellite communications services. Established in 1973 with its first satellite circuit for the U.S. Department of Defense, the company currently operates a fleet of 15 spacecraft in orbital positions providing service throughout the Americas. 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.


SES ASTRA and SES AMERICOM are SES GLOBAL companies (Luxembourg and Frankfurt stock exchanges: SESG). SES GLOBAL wholly owns two market-leading satellite operators, SES ASTRA in Europe, and SES AMERICOM in the US. The Company also holds strategic participations in AsiaSat in Asia, Star One and Nahuelsat in Latin America, and NSAB in Europe. Via its WORLDSAT subsidiary it provides unparalleled connections to the premier regional satellite fleets of these SES GLOBAL partners. Americom Government Services provides network solutions and bandwidth to the US government and its contractors. SES GLOBAL can provide outstanding satellite communications solutions via a fleet of 40 satellites across the globe. In addition, SES GLOBAL is a shareholder in ORBCOMM, a provider of wireless data communications services through a low-earth orbit (LEO) satellite network, and in satellite technology companies Gilat Satellite Networks Ltd., ND Satcom and SATLYNX.

SpaceRef staff editor.