Sunday, July 31, 2011

Inmarsat Picks Launch Partner for Global Xpress

Inmarsat has selected International Launch Services (ILS) for the launch of three Inmarsat-5 satellites for its forthcoming Global Xpress network, which promises global, mobile broadband speeds of up to 50 Mbps 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 program, which includes launch costs.

The Inmarsat-5 satellites are based on the state-of-the-art 702HP Ka-band satellites currently being built by Boeing.

The launches, scheduled for 2013-14, will use the ILS Proton launch vehicle from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. ILS successfully launched Inmarsat's most recent satellite, the third Inmarsat-4, from Baikonur in August 2008.

"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."

  • The Inmarsat-5 satellites are expected to carry 89 Ka-band beams and will operate in geosynchronous orbit with flexible global coverage. The satellites will use two solar wings to generate approximately 15 kilowatts of power at the start of service and approximately 13.8 kilowatts at the end of their 15-year design life. The first available terminals planned at launch date are 60cm, although Inmarsat expects small designs later.

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