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Lockheed Martin Marks 33RD Consecutive A2100 Success With The Launch Of BSAT-3A Satellite


The BSAT-3a telecommunications satellite, designed and built by Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] for the Broadcasting Satellite System Corporation (B-SAT), was successfully launched today from Kourou, French Guiana. Lift-off occurred at 7:44 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) aboard an Ariane 5-ECA launch vehicle provided by Arianespace of Evry, France. Initial contact with the satellite, called acquisition of signal, was confirmed at 8:46 p.m. EDT from Lockheed Martin’s satellite tracking station in Uralla, Australia.

The BSAT-3a communications payload contains 12 130-W Ku-band channels (eight operating at one time). With a design life of more than 13 years, BSAT-3a is based on the A2100A platform manufactured by Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems (LMCSS), Newtown, Pa. BSAT-3a marks the 12th Lockheed Martin satellite contract awarded in the 1- to 4-kW class satellite range.

“Our strong relationship with B-SAT and continued focus on Mission Success has resulted in the BSAT-3a team successfully meeting our collective objectives,” said Vice-President and General Manager Marshall Byrd. “BSAT-3a will provide direct broadcast links for the entire Japanese archipelago from its geostationary orbit and we are pleased that B-SAT has entrusted Lockheed Martin with this important mission. Congratulations to all on a job well done.”

Built by Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems (LMCSS), Newtown, Pa., BSAT-3a will be located at orbital location 110 degrees East longitude and is the second of five planned A2100 satellite launches this year. The successful launch of BSAT-3a represents the 33rd launch of an A2100 spacecraft for customers worldwide and all 33 currently are operational. Throughout its nearly 50-year history, LMCSS has launched 91 commercial communications geostationary earth orbit satellites.

BSAT-3a is the sixth Direct Broadcasting Satellite in the 12GHz BSS band procured by B-SAT. Satellite broadcasting in Japan has a long history, beginning in 1984 and today penetrating in excess of 23 million households.

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 as demonstrated by the 32 spacecraft successfully flown to date. 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.


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