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Lockheed Martin-Built A2100 Satellite Fleet Achieves 200 Years In Orbit


NEWTOWN, Pa.- The Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) A2100 communications satellite fleet recently achieved a major milestone by accumulating 200 years of successful in-orbit operations. The A2100 satellite series, designed and manufactured at Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems (LMCSS), currently consists of 34 satellites featuring 1254 transponders with an accumulated lifetime of over 7800 years of successful operations in orbit. The first A2100 satellite, AMC-1, was launched Sept. 8, 1996 for SES AMERICOM. SIRIUS 4, the most recent A2100 spacecraft, was successfully launched on Nov. 18, 2007 for SES SIRIUS.

Upcoming launches include AMC-14 for SES AMERICOM in mid-March and VINASAT-1, built for Vietnamese Posts and Telecommunications Group, in April. AMC-14 will carry a demonstration active phased array (APA) payload consisting of a receive mode APA antenna, allowing customers enhanced flexibility on orbit. VINASAT-1 represents the first ever spacecraft procurement by the nation of Vietnam.

“We are enormously proud of the impressive reliability track record of our A2100 satellite" said Vice President and General Manager Marshall Byrd. “This important milestone is the result of our team’s focus and determination to successfully execute on each and every individual program for our customers. In addition, by adopting a deliberately evolutionary approach to introducing new technology, we can maintain a very low risk to the overall spacecraft mission.”

Throughout its nearly 50-year history, LMCSS has built 94 communications geostationary earth orbit satellites which have achieved a total of 779 in-orbit years. In 2007, LMCSS delivered the 32nd, 33rd and 34th A2100 spacecraft to satellite operators around the world: ASTRA 1L, aboard an Ariane 5 ECA on May 3; BSAT-3a, lifted into orbit Aug. 14 also aboard an Ariane 5 ECA; and SIRIUS 4, launched aboard an International Launch Services Proton launch vehicle.

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 design accommodates a large range of payloads. This design modularity enables the A2100 spacecraft to be configured for a wide variety of missions in addition to communication. The A2100 serves as the platform for critical Lockheed Martin government communications programs such as the Advanced Extremely High Frequency program and Mobile User Objective System.

The A2100 platform design has been adapted for geostationary earth orbit (GEO)-based earth observing missions and is currently baselined for Lockheed Martin’s Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite Series-R (GOES-R) proposal. The A2100 platform also is the foundation for Lockheed Martin’s Transformational Satellite Communications System (TSAT) offering for the U.S. Government.


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