Orbital Awarded Contract for IS-15 Commercial Communications Satellite
DULLES, Va. - Orbital Sciences Corporation has been selected by Intelsat, LLC to design, build and deliver the Intelsat 15 (IS-15) commercial communications satellite. This satellite will be based on Orbital’s flight-proven STAR 2 platform. The satellite will generate 4.6 kilowatts of payload power and carry 22 active Ku-band transponders. The Intelsat 15 satellite will be located in orbit at 85 degrees East longitude following its launch in early 2009. The Intelsat 15 satellite contract is the 20th Orbital geosynchronous commercial communications satellite ordered by customers throughout the world and will be the sixth in the Intelsat fleet.
In addition to the IS-15 spacecraft, Intelsat also confirmed a contract to complete the Intelsat 16 (IS-16) spacecraft (formerly known as the PAS-11R prior to the merger of Intelsat and PanAmSat) that will serve as a ground spare for Intelsat 11. Since early 2006, Orbital has been working under an authorization from Intelsat to complete certain long-lead items on IS-16. Orbital will now complete the remaining manufacturing and testing activities required to deliver the satellite for launch in 2008.
“With two recent new orders from repeat customers, Intelsat and Optus Networks, together with the IS-16 order confirmation, Orbital’s commercial satellite business has begun 2007 with very strong momentum,” said Mr. Carl Marchetto, Orbital’s Executive Vice President and General Manager of its Space Systems Group. “From an operational perspective, our satellite manufacturing facility expansion is now complete, substantially increasing our capacity to meet the growing demand for our STAR satellites and to deliver them to our customers on schedule.”
The Intelsat 15 satellite is the second order placed in 2007 for Orbital’s STAR-based platform. Earlier this year, the company announced that Optus Networks of Australia had ordered its third satellite from Orbital, the Optus D3 spacecraft, following on its orders for the D1 and D2 spacecraft in 2004.
Mr. Jim Frownfelter, Intelsat COO said, “Orbital has demonstrated a long history of excellence with its STAR-based platform. Our customers expect the best and Orbital delivers high quality and reliability, ensuring we have a technologically-advanced platform to meet the growing needs of our customers.”
Adding to Mr. Marchetto’s comments, Dr. Ali Atia, head of Orbital’s commercial GEO satellite business unit, stated, “We are fully prepared to meet the robust operational tempo that we have scheduled for the next several years. In 2007, we will deliver four commercial satellites, including the Optus D2, IS-11, Horizons 2 and THOR 5 spacecraft, which will allow us to execute the new orders that have been placed so far this year and others that we are currently pursuing for booking later this year and in 2008.”
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