The Arab
Satellite Communications Organization (ARABSAT) has selected
International Launch Services (ILS) of the United States to launch its
next two satellites on Proton/Breeze M launch vehicles. Financial
details were not disclosed.

EADS Astrium will be the prime contractor for the satellites,
ARABSAT 4A and 4B, which are Eurostar 2000+ models. EADS Astrium will
oversee the launch activities on behalf of ARABSAT through a
delivery-in-orbit contract, EADS Astrium’s first contract of this type
with ILS. The target launch dates are late 2005 and early 2006.

With the ARABSAT launches, ILS has received orders this year for
seven new Proton missions.

ARABSAT Director General Khalid Balkheyour, said, “ILS has
demonstrated that it understands what a customer wants – in
particular, reliability, on-time service and good cooperation.”

“We are pleased that the ARABSAT satellites will be our first
launches for the Middle East,” said ILS President Mark Albrecht. “We
recognize how important it is to a business to ensure that the
satellites are in orbit on time, and ILS has proven we can provide
that service time and time again.”

The Proton is Russia’s premier launch vehicle, having flown a
total of 300 times with Russian government missions and ILS commercial
flights. ILS is a joint venture of Lockheed Martin Corp.
in the United States, which builds the Atlas launch vehicle; and
Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center of Russia, which
builds the Proton vehicle. With more than 80 years of combined
experience and more than 875 combined flights on the Atlas and Proton
launch vehicles, ILS offers rockets with the highest reliability in
the industry.

ARABSAT is dedicated to offering a variety of leading-edge
commercial satellite services to meet both current and emerging
customer demands in the Arab world. With its headquarters in the
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, ARABSAT was established on April 14, 1976, by
the member states of the Arab League.

EADS Astrium is the leading satellite company in Europe. Its
activities cover complete civil and military telecommunications and
Earth observation systems, science and navigation programs, and all
spacecraft avionics and equipment. EADS Astrium is wholly owned by
EADS SPACE. In 2002 EADS SPACE had a turnover of 2.2 billion Euros and
12,300 employees in France, Germany, the United Kingdom and Spain.

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