Boeing [NYSE:BA] and The DIRECTV Group, Inc. [NYSE: DTV] announced today the arrival of the Spaceway F1 satellite at the Sea Launch home port in Long Beach, Calif., where it will undergo final preparations for a late April launch aboard a Zenit-3SL vehicle.

Built on the powerful Boeing 702 model satellite, Spaceway F1 is the first of two spacecraft scheduled for launch this year for DIRECTV and the most complex commercial satellite system ever manufactured. The spacecraft includes a flexible payload with a fully steerable downlink antenna that can be reconfigured on orbit to seamlessly address market conditions.

“We look forward to working with DIRECTV and Sea Launch as Spaceway F1 continues through final testing and integration with the Zenit launch vehicle,” said Dave Ryan, vice president and general manager of commercial and civil satellite programs at Boeing.

Spaceway F1 is one of four Boeing-built Ka-band satellites DIRECTV has scheduled for launch over the next three years as part of a historic expansion of programming capacity. The expansion will enable DIRECTV to deliver more than 1,500 local and national High Definition channels and other advanced programming services to consumers nationwide by 2007.

The Boeing 702 spacecraft was manufactured by Boeing’s Satellite Development Center at the company’s one-million-square-feet satellite manufacturing, integration and test complex in El Segundo , Calif. “Spaceway F1 is a testament to the agility of Boeing’s manufacturing capabilities – meeting our requirements that will enable us to provide the highest quality broadcast capabilities in the nation,” said Jim Butterworth, senior vice president, Communications Systems, DIRECTV, Inc.

DIRECTV is the nation’s leading and fastest-growing digital multichannel television service provider with more than 13.9 million customers. DIRECTV and the Cyclone Design logo are registered trademarks of DIRECTV, Inc., a unit of The DIRECTV Group Inc. The DIRECTV Group, Inc. is a world-leading provider of digital multichannel television entertainment and broadband satellite networks and services. The DIRECTV Group is 34 percent owned by Fox Entertainment Group, which is approximately 82 percent owned by News Corporation.

A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is one of the world’s largest space and defense businesses. Headquartered in St. Louis , Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is a $30.5 billion business. It provides network-centric system solutions to its global military, government, and commercial customers. It is a leading provider of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems; the world’s largest military aircraft manufacturer; the world’s largest satellite manufacturer and a leading provider of space-based communications; the primary systems integrator for U.S. missile defense; NASA’s largest contractor; and a global leader in sustainment solutions and launch services.