Inmarsat plc (LSE:ISAT.L), the leading provider of global mobile satellite communications services, announces that Inmarsat SA, one of its subsidiary companies, has signed a contract with International Launch Services (ILS) for the launch of three Inmarsat-5 satellites. The launches, scheduled for 2013-14, will use the ILS Proton launch vehicle from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
The Inmarsat-5 satellites – three state-of-the-art 702HP Ka-band satellites currently being built by Boeing – will form the constellation to support Inmarsat’s forthcoming Global Xpress™ network. Global Xpress will offer seamless global coverage and deliver unprecedented mobile broadband speeds of up to 50MB/s for users in the government, maritime, enterprise, energy and aeronautical sectors. Inmarsat is investing an estimated amount of US$1.2 billion in the Global Xpress programme, which includes launch costs.
Today’s announcement builds on a strong relationship between Inmarsat and ILS. ILS successfully launched Inmarsat’s most recent satellite, the third Inmarsat-4, from Baikonur in August 2008.
The Proton vehicle is Russia’s premier heavy-lift launcher and is built by Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center, the majority owner of ILS and one of the pillars of the Russian space industry. ILS Proton has successfully launched 31 consecutive missions since July 2008 and the Proton vehicle has launched 365 missions since its maiden flight in 1965.
“Selecting a launch services provider is a critical part of realising our Global Xpress vision,” said Andrew Sukawaty, Chairman and CEO of Inmarsat. “Our agreement with ILS shows that we are well on track with our aggressive programme for Global Xpress, with service planned to start in 2013. We have partnered with ILS and Khrunichev for previous launches, and look forward to a successful campaign for Inmarsat-5.”
Frank McKenna, President of ILS said: “It is exciting to be working with Inmarsat again with these very important ILS Proton launches. Inmarsat has placed an incredible amount of confidence and trust in ILS, Khrunichev and the Proton launch vehicle, to launch the Inmarsat-5 constellation. We look forward to enabling the deployment of their Global Xpress network and serving Inmarsat with outstanding launch services and performance for each of these missions.”
More details about Global Xpress can be found at www.inmarsatgx.com.
Inmarsat plc (LSE: ISAT) is the leading provider of global mobile satellite communications services. 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 400 distribution partners and service providers operating in 100 countries. For the year ended 31 December 2010, Inmarsat plc had total revenue of US$1,171.6 million (2009: US$1,038.1 million) with an EBITDA of US$696.1 million (2009: US$594.2 million). For more information, please visit www.inmarsat.com.
About ILS and Khrunichev
ILS is a world leader in providing mission and launch services for global satellite operators and offers 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 vehicle and is a U.S. company headquartered in Reston, Va., near 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 365 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.com.