Inmarsat Selects ILS Proton to Launch S-Band Satellite for Europe
International Launch Services (ILS) announced a contract today with Inmarsat for the launch of an S-band satellite to provide mobile broadcast and two-way telecommunications services throughout Europe.
The contract follows this week’s successful launch of the Inmarsat-4 F3 satellite on an ILS Proton Breeze M vehicle. Inmarsat is a London-based provider of global mobile broadband services. ILS holds the exclusive worldwide rights to market and sell commercial launch services on the Proton launch vehicle. The Proton booster and Breeze M are both manufactured by Khrunichev Space Center, the majority owner of ILS and one of the cornerstones of the Russian space industry.
Thales Alenia Space of France is developing Inmarsat’s S-band satellite, known as EuropaSat, using its Spacebus 4000C3 platform. The spacecraft will provide mobile broadcast and two-way telecommunications services throughout Europe. The spacecraft will have a mass of about 5700 kg, which is well-suited for Proton’s heavy-lift capability. It is planned for launch in early 2011.
“We appreciate Inmarsat’s selection of ILS and the Proton system,” said ILS President Frank McKenna. “This is a long-term valued customer, which had the confidence to be our successful return to flight this week. We will diligently support Inmarsat’s S-band initiative.”
“Following the successful launch of Inmarsat-4 F3, we are very grateful for ILS’s support for our application for an award of S-band spectrum,” said Inmarsat CEO Andy Sukawaty. “With Thales Alenia Space and ILS, we are confident of submitting a compliant and highly credible application to the European Commission and positioning ourselves as a leading applicant for a substantial S-band spectrum award.”
About ILS and Khrunichev:
ILS provides satellite customers with a complete array of services and support, from contract signing through mission management and on-orbit delivery. ILS has exclusive rights to market the Proton, Russia’s premier heavy-lift vehicle, to commercial satellite operators worldwide, as well as the Angara next-generation launcher. ILS is a U.S. company incorporated in Delaware, and headquartered in Reston, Va., a suburb of Washington, D.C. For more information, visit www.ilslaunch.com.
Khrunichev, which holds the majority interest in ILS, is one of the cornerstones of the Russian space industry. Khrunichev manufactures the Proton system and is developing the Angara launch system. The Proton launches from facilities at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, and has a heritage of more than 330 missions since 1965. Khrunichev includes among its branches a number of key manufacturers of launch vehicle and spacecraft components in Moscow and in other cities of the Russian Federation. For more information, visit www.khrunichev.ru.
Inmarsat plc (LSE:ISAT) is the leading provider of global mobile satellite communications. Since 1979, Inmarsat has been providing reliable voice and high-speed data communications to governments, enterprises and other organizations, with a range of services that can be used on land, at sea or in the air. The company’s services are delivered through a global network of more than 500 distribution partners and service providers operating in 180 countries. For the year ended 31 December 2007, Inmarsat plc had total revenue of US$ 576.5 million. More information can be found at www.inmarsat.com.