An International Launch Services (ILS) Proton rocket will place the Intelsat IS-22 satellite into geostationary transfer orbit in the first half of 2012, Reston, Va.-based ILS announced May 4. The contract is the latest formal satellite assignment made as part of a multilaunch agreement between Intelsat and ILS.

IS-22 is part of a four-satellite order by Intelsat of Boeing’s new 702-MP satellite platform. In addition to carrying a commercial payload of C- and Ku-band transponders, IS-22 will feature a hosted payload of 18 UHF-frequency channels for Australia’s military, which is sharing the capacity with the U.S. Defense Department in exchange for Australian access to U.S. UHF satellites.

IS-22 is expected to weigh about 6,400 kilograms at launch. As is the case with the IS-21 satellite, also under construction by Boeing and slated for an ILS Proton launch in early 2012. IS 22 will be placed into a supersynchronous transfer orbit with an apogee of about 65,000 kilometers.

ILS said the higher-than-usual apogee — the satellite’s geostationary orbit destination is some 36,000 kilometers over the equator — permits the Proton rocket’s Breeze M upper stage to better position the satellite for its final geostationary-orbit insertion.