December 17, 2004 – Princeton, NJ & Cape Canaveral, FL – Against the pre-dawn sky from Cape Canaveral, the AMERICOM-16 (AMC-16) satellite of SES AMERICOM, an SES GLOBAL company (Euronext Paris and Luxembourg Stock Exchanges: SESG), roared into space onboard an Atlas V launch vehicle from Launch Complex 41 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station this morning at 7:07 a.m. Eastern Time. After 109 minutes, the spacecraft separated from the Centaur upper stage and was placed into geostationary transfer orbit. Initial signals were received from the satellite at 9:41 a.m. ET.

The hybrid Ku- and Ka-band satellite will begin payload and performance testing at 82 degrees West. It is anticipated that AMC-16 will be ready to support the transmission of high-speed data and digital video services throughout the U.S. for the AMERICOM2Home ®customer EchoStar DISH Network during the first quarter of 2005. 

“We are delighted that AMC-16 has been successfully launched; our heartiest congratulations first to Lockheed Martin for delivering a great spacecraft and to International Launch Services for this morning’s picture-perfect launch. AMC-16 is the second satellite platform we are putting into operation dedicated to EchoStar Communications Corp.’s DISH Network satellite TV service,” said Anders Johnson, Senior Vice President of Strategic Satellite Initiatives, SES AMERICOM. “With the successful launch of AMC-16, in combination with its soon-to-be-operating identical twin, AMC-15, I believe the AMERICOM2Home ®concept has been fully realized and AMERICOM’s excellence is clearly demonstrated once again.”

“Lockheed Martin is proud to continue our history of partnership and teamwork with SES AMERICOM to deliver the AMC-16 satellite, the second Ka-band payload in AMERICOM’s fleet,” said Ted Gavrilis, President, Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems. “AMC-16 will serve to enhance digital video and data services throughout the 50 U.S. states for EchoStar, the AMERICOM2Home ®dedicated customer on AMC-16, and our highly reliable A2100 satellite series is now the foundation for a dozen SES AMERICOM satellites.”

“This is record-setting in the number of times we have launched for a single customer in a calendar year,” said ILS President Mark Albrecht. “SES AMERICOM is a ‘platinum customer,’ one with which we have a long-standing relationship and have seen many launches. We look forward to continuing our ties with the launch of WS-2 in early 2005.” 

AMC-16 Satellite

Built by Lockheed Martin Commerical Space Systems, AMC-16 was manufactured in their Newtown, Pennsylvania and Sunnyvale, California facilities. The hybrid spacecraft is based on an A2100AX platform; its Ku-band payload features 24 – 36 MHz transponders with 140-watt TWTAs while the Ka-band payload features 12 – 125 MHz spot beams with 75-watt TWTAs. The satellite’s solar panels and two communication antennas will be deployed approximately 10 days after launch. AMC-16 is expected to reach geosynchronous orbit and its testing orbital location of 82 degrees West by the beginning of January. After thorough testing of all of the on-board systems, it is anticipated that AMC-16 will be ready for service in approximately eight weeks. 


The largest supplier of satellite services in the U.S., SES AMERICOM, Inc., is recognized as a pioneer of global satellite communications services for media, enterprise, and government. Established in 1973 with its first satellite circuit for the U.S. Department of Defense, the company currently operates a fleet of 16 spacecraft in orbital positions predominantly providing service throughout the Americas. As a member of the SES GLOBAL family, SES AMERICOM is able to provide bandwidth for media content distribution and end-to-end telecommunications solutions to any region in the world. In 2001, the company established AMERICOM Government Services , a wholly owned subsidiary dedicated to providing satellite-based communications solutions to both civilian and defense agencies of the U.S. government. In 2003, SES AMERICOM formed WORLDSAT to market its international satellites covering Asia and the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean regions, and connecting premier regional satellite fleets. With its combined operations, SES AMERICOM serves broadcasters, cable programmers, aeronautical and maritime communications integrators, Internet service providers, mobile communications networks, government agencies, educational institutions, carriers and secure global data networks with efficient communication and content distribution solutions.