MHI Wins Launch Order from Sky Perfect JSat

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WASHINGTON — Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Corp. (MHI) said May 14 it had received an order from Tokyo-based Sky Perfect JSat Corp. to launch an unidentified satellite in 2016.

In a press release, Tokyo-based MHI said the order for an H-2A rocket launch was its first from JSat, Asia’s largest fleet operator. The launch will take place from Japan’s Tanegashima Space Center.

JSat has two satellites on order from Space Systems/Loral of Palo Alto, California, JCSat-15 and JCSat-16, that are scheduled for launch around 2016. Another possibility is the second of two X-band military communications satellites being built by Mitsubishi Electric Corp. (Melco) for the government-backed DSN consortium, which is led by JSat and includes NEC Corp., NTT and Maeda Corp. The first of those satellites is scheduled to launch next year on a European Ariane 5 rocket.

Meanwhile, JSat announced April 25 that it had “concluded arrangements to procure a successor to its Superbird-B2 satellite,” which provides services in Japan from the 162 degrees east longitude orbital slot.

Although the press release did not specify that a contract had been awarded or to whom, it included a reference chart indicating that Melco would build the satellite, with NEC Corp. acting in a management capacity. The satellite will operate in Ku- and Ka-band frequencies at the 162 degrees east slot, with a launch scheduled for 2015, the reference chart said.