PARIS---Alcatel Space, France's space industry leader, announced today that the Company has signed a contract to build four satellites for the U.S. based satellite communications provider GE American Communications, Inc. (GE Americom). The contract value was not disclosed.
The Alcatel Space-built satellites, based on the Company's highly reliable Spacebus platform, will enable GE Americom to expand its global fleet. All four satellites will use the new-generation Spacebus, one of the largest and most powerful commercial satellite platforms available on the market today.
Weighing in at approximately 4 to 5 metric tons, the satellites for GE Americom will be built by Alcatel Space in the company's clean rooms in Cannes and Toulouse (France). The two space craft will feature double redundancy of the satellite management unit to ensure mission reliability.
Jean-Claude Husson, Alcatel Space President and Chief Executive Officer, stated in connection with the prime contract announcement, "I am proud that Alcatel Space has won its first commercial prime contract awarded by GE Americom, a leading US provider of satellite communications solutions and a pioneer in the field. I believe that Alcatel Space, as the only commercial satellite manufacturer to be backed by one of the world's major telecommunications groups, Alcatel, is particularly well positioned to meet this challenge. This contract confirms international recognition both of the quality of Alcatel Space's satellites and of our competitiveness."
Alcatel Space has won over 40 contracts for commercial satellites using the Spacebus platform, with 30 spacecraft already operational in orbit. Indeed, the Spacebus 4000 platform benefits from a 20-year heritage without mission failure that has continued to evolve according to market requirements, in particular, the need for more and more transponder capacity.
The Spacebus 4000 is also well known for its plasmic propulsion, which makes the satellite lighter and longer lived, due to a lower rate of fuel consumption. A highly modular platform architecture enables Alcatel Space to respond quickly to individual customer needs while reducing costs.
In addition to the four satellites for GE Americom, Alcatel Space will be in charge of the LEOP (Launch and Early Orbit Phase) operations, IOT (In-Orbit Tests), operator training with an Alcatel Space-supplied dynamic simulator.
Alcatel Space ranks among the world's leading space systems prime contractors. With expertise in civil and military applications, Alcatel Space develops satellite technology for telecommunications, navigation, optical and radar observation, meteorology, science. With partners around the world, subsidiaries throughout Europe, and a strong commitment to R&D, Alcatel Space plays an important role -- as prime contractor, operator, investor, or service provider -- in a majority of ongoing space programs. An affiliate of Alcatel (51%) and Thomson-CSF (49%), Alcatel Space generated a 1999 turnover of 9.3 billion francs (1.4 billion Euros). The Company employs 5,500 people.
Alcatel builds next generation networks, delivering integrated end-to-end voice and data communications solutions to established and new carriers, as well as enterprises and consumers worldwide. With 120,000 employees and sales of EURO 23 billion in 1999, Alcatel operates in more than 130 countries.
Alcatel Space Wins Major U.S. Contract: Four Powerful Satellites for GE Americom