16 Jun 2003

SES ASTRA, an SES GLOBAL company (Luxembourg and Frankfurt Stock Exchanges: SESG), and Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems (LMCSS), a business unit of Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE: LMT), are pleased to announce that SES ASTRA has awarded a contract to Lockheed Martin to design and manufacture two high-powered communications satellites to be deployed at ASTRA’s prime continental European orbital position of 19.2° East. Terms of the contract remain confidential.

The spacecraft are due to be launched in the second half of 2005 and in 2006 respectively and will have minimum service lives of 15 years. The satellites will be built on Lockheed’s reliable A2100 platform, and designed to be compatible with all flight-proven commercial launch vehicles. SES ASTRA intends to select the respective launch service providers later on in the year.

The first satellite, ASTRA 1KR, will feature 32 active Ku band transponders in the FSS band, with a TWTA output power of 140 watts and a pan-European footprint. With an expected launch weight of approximately 4200 kilograms the spacecraft’s primary mission, following the lost ASTRA 1K mission of November 2002, will be to replace ASTRA 1B and 1C launched in 1991 and 1993 respectively.

The second satellite will be built in parallel and serves two missions: In case of an ASTRA 1KR launch failure it will replace that spacecraft. If the ASTRA 1KR launch is a success, the second satellite will be reconfigured to include a Ka-Band payload and become ASTRA 1L. It will be designed to replace ASTRA 1E and to reinforce SES ASTRA’s renowned and still unique inter satellite back-up concept at a single orbital position, by providing satellite protection in the Ku (FSS & BSS) and Ka bands. In addition, ASTRA 1L will ensure further fleet optimization by allowing the release of ASTRA 2C from its current location of 19.2° East. The spacecraft will feature 29 active Ku band transponders as well as a 2 transponder Ka band payload for such interactive applications as ASTRA BBI (Broadband Interactive) and Satmode services (ASTRA’s proposed low-cost satellite return channel for digital set-top boxes). ASTRA 1L will weigh approximately 4300 kilograms upon launch, and also offers a pan-European footprint with a TWTA output of 140 watts.

Ferdinand Kayser, President and CEO of SES ASTRA, is confident: “With these state-of-the-art procurements, SES ASTRA cements not only the competitive position of Europe’s top Continental European orbital slot well into the next decade, but also reinforces the world’s most comprehensive inter-satellite protection scheme at a single orbital position. We look forward to working with Lockheed Martin on the two ASTRA missions and are confident that the scheduled renewal of our fleet will further strengthen our existing high standards of operational excellence and support our commitment of offering state-of-the-art satellite services to our customers.”

“We are extremely gratified by the confidence SES ASTRA has placed in us,” said Ted Gavrilis, President, Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems. "Our flight-proven A2100 has provided a powerful, dependable solution for telecommunications customers worldwide and we look forward to establishing a long-term relationship with SES ASTRA."

For further information please contact:

Yves Feltes
Press Relations Manager
Tel +352 710 725 311

Steve Tatum
Media Relations LMCSS
Tel. +1 408 742 7531


The ASTRA Satellite System is Europe’s leading Direct-to-Home satellite system, delivering television, radio as well as multimedia and Internet services to more than 92 million Direct-to-Home and cable households. The ASTRA satellite fleet currently comprises 13 satellites, transmitting in excess of 1100 analogue and digital television and radio channels as well as multimedia and Internet services. ASTRA’s two prime orbital positions for DTH (Direct-To-Home) services are 19.2° East and 28.2° East. Professional services are offered from the orbital positions of 23.5°/24.2° East and 5.2° East.

SES ASTRA is an SES GLOBAL company, whose securities are listed on the Stock Exchanges in Luxembourg and Frankfurt (SESG). SES GLOBAL wholly owns two market leading satellite operators, SES ASTRA in Europe, and SES AMERICOM in the US. The Company also holds strategic participations in first-class regional satellite service providers, the SES GLOBAL partner companies, including AsiaSat and AMERICOM ASIA-PACIFIC in Asia, Star One and Nahuelsat in Latin America, and NSAB in Europe. Through these, SES GLOBAL can provide outstanding satellite communications solutions via a fleet of 41 satellites across the globe. Approximately 95 percent of the world’s population live within the footprints of the SES GLOBAL satellite network. In addition, SES GLOBAL is a shareholder in satellite technology companies Gilat Satellite Networks Ltd., ND Satcom and SATLYNX. Additional info at:

About Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems

Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems markets, designs and builds geostationary and non-geostationary telecommunications and remote sensing satellites for customers worldwide. LMCSS is an operating unit of Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, one of the core business areas of the Lockheed Martin Corporation. Lockheed Martin has a 41-year heritage of building reliable spacecraft for commercial and military customers, having launched more than 875 spacecraft and clocking nearly 1,500 years of on-orbit performance experience.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin employs about 125,000 people worldwide and is a global enterprise principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture and integration of advanced technology systems, products, and services. The Corporation reported 2002 sales of $26.6 billion.