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.

Warren Ferster is the Editor-in-Chief of SpaceNews and is responsible for all the news and editorial coverage in the weekly newspaper, the spacenews.com Web site and variety of specialty publications such as show dailies. He manages a staff of seven reporters...