Lockheed Martin has been awarded a contract to build an A2100 geosynchronous satellite, marking the fifth new commercial satellite order received by its Commercial Space Systems business during 2003. Details of the contract signed last week and the spacecraft customer will be disclosed at a later date. Other contracts awarded this year include an order from EchoStar Communications Corp in September to build its next satellite for the DISH Network. The satellite, designated EchoStar X, will provide distribution of direct-to-home broadcast services across the continental United States, Alaska and Hawaii following its scheduled launch in third quarter, 2005. In April, Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems (LMCSS) was awarded a contract by JSAT Corporation of Japan to build its latest geostationary telecommunications satellite. The satellite, designated JCSAT-9, will provide satellite communications services throughout Asia and Japan following its scheduled launch in 2005.
In June, SES ASTRA awarded LMCSS a contract to build two satellites, designated 1KR and 1L, which will provide distribution of direct-to-home broadcast services across Europe following their scheduled launches in the second half of 2005 and 2006 respectively.
In recognition of the A2100’s reliability, Lockheed Martin has received an award for “Product of the Year,” by Frost & Sullivan. Calling it “the most reliable and efficient of its class,” Frost & Sullivan recognized the LMCSS-built A2100 satellite platform for its “outstanding on-orbit reliability record since it was first offered in 1996.”
Last year, five satellites designed and built by LMCSS for customers worldwide were successfully launched, including EchoStar VII for EchoStar Communications Corp; NSS-6 and NSS-7 satellites for New Skies Satellites; N-STAR c for NTT DoCoMo, Japan’s largest wireless telecommunications provider; and most recently, Nimiq 2 for Telesat Canada. The first A2100 was launched in 1996 and all spacecraft are operational. This year, the company launched Rainbow 1, a high-power A2100 satellite for Cablevision Systems Corp. of Bethpage, N.Y., aboard a Lockheed Martin Atlas V rocket. The A2100 geostationary spacecraft is designed to meet a wide variety of telecommunications needs ranging from high-power Ka, Ku and C-band fixed satellite and direct broadcast services to high-power mobile satellite services using the L- and S-band frequency spectrum. The heritage A2100’s modular design features flight-proven equipment, thus simplifying construction, shortening delivery schedule, and increasing on-orbit reliability.