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Loral and MELCO to Build High-Powered Satellite for Cable & Wireless Optus

NEW YORK---Space Systems/Loral (SS/L), a subsidiary of Loral Space & Communications, today announced that the company, as system associate contractor with Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (MELCO), has been awarded a contract to build a high-powered communications satellite for Cable & Wireless Optus of Australia and the Australian Department of Defence.

The satellite, Optus C1, is a third-generation system designed to replace an existing spacecraft in the Optus communications constellation, and to provide additional, enhanced capabilities when it is launched in 2002.

Cable & Wireless Optus, a major Australian telephone and communications company, will use Optus C1 to provide distribution for video, direct-to-home TV, and telephony and Internet connections to remote areas. The area of fixed satellite services coverage includes Australia, New Zealand, and Asia. Optus C1 will also provide communications services for the Australian Defence Forces.

To provide these services, Optus C1, a high-powered model in SS/L's 1300 geostationary satellite bus family, will carry 18 antennas and four payloads: a Ku-band payload for the commercial mission, and UHF, X-, and Ka-band payloads for the defense tasks. Total power on the satellite, designed to operate for 15 years, will be approximately 11kW at end of life. Optus C1 will have a launch mass of nearly five metric tons.

SS/L is responsible for the overall system design, and the design of the satellite bus and will assemble, integrate, and test the satellite. As prime contractor, MELCO will be responsible for the design, manufacture, and test of the payload.

"MELCO and SS/L have an excellent working relationship developed over a span of more than 27 years, beginning with the CS1 satellite, built for Japan's National Space Development Agency, the equivalent of our NASA,'' said Dr. John M. Klineberg, president of SS/L. "We look forward to the productive continuation of our long-standing affiliation.'' MELCO and SS/L have cooperated on programs such as: Intelsat 5, 5A, 7/7A, Agila 2, EchoStar, PanAmSat 7 and 8, and Tempo.

According to Dr. Klineberg, the Optus C1, one of the most complex commercial communications satellite projects to date, represents a pioneering example of cooperation on a spacecraft intended for joint commercial-defense use.

Space Systems/Loral, headquartered in Palo Alto, is a leading designer, manufacturer, and systems integrator of both geostationary (GEO) and low-earth orbit (LEO) satellites, with more than 40 spacecraft currently in backlog. The company is the prime contractor for the Globalstar constellation of global telephony LEO satellites. Its GEO communications satellites include direct-broadcast, multi-media, broadband, and digital audio radio spacecraft; it also builds environmental science, weather- watch, and air traffic control satellites. SS/L is ISO 9001 certified.


Loral and MELCO to Build High-Powered Satellite for Cable & Wireless Optus