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The GE-7 telecommunications satellite built by Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems for GE American Communications (GE Americom) was successfully launched from its Kourou, French Guiana launch site at 3:54 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time (PDT). The spacecraft was lofted into orbit on an Ariane-5 launch vehicle provided by Arianespace of Evry, France.
An all C-band satellite, GE-7 will supplement the coverage of GE Americom’s fleet of a dozen satellites that services the Americas. The fleet includes four other Lockheed Martin A2100 spacecraft, GE-1, GE-2, GE-3 and GE-4, which provide distribution of cable, broadcast television and radio, business television and broadband data distribution across the 50 United States, Mexico, the Caribbean, and in the case of GE-4, a beam into South America. Following in-orbit checkout operations, the GE-7 satellite is planned to begin service before the end of October from its orbital location at 137 degrees West. GE-7 will take the place of GE SATCOM C1 currently operating at 137 degrees West.
John F. Connelly, Chairman and CEO, GE Americom said, "We are pleased to have GE-7 join our rapidly expanding global fleet and we expect it to operate at the highest quality level. GE-7 will provide service to regional and national programmers, in*orbit protection for many current cable and radio customers, plus the critical telecommunications services delivered by AT&T Alascom."
Ted Gavrilis, President, Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems added, "We are very proud of our close partnership with GE Americom on the award winning A2100 product development which has resulted in delivering a superior quality satellite with flight-proven performance, extensive payload and antenna heritage, and successful on-orbit operations. We look forward to continuing our 25-year relationship with GE Americom and supporting them in their future business initiatives."
The GE-7 spacecraft is a member of the A2100 family of satellites developed by Lockheed Martin to provide highly reliable and efficiently manufactured satellite systems to the commercial telecommunications industry. The first A2100s, GE-1, GE-2, and GE-3 were built for GE Americom. GE-4 was launched successfully in November 1999. The launch of GE-1A, a spacecraft for Americom Asia-Pacific, a joint venture of GE Americom and Lockheed Martin Global Telecommunications, is scheduled for Oct. 4, 2000. The GE-6 spacecraft, currently in final production at the Lockheed Martin facility in Sunnyvale, CA, is scheduled for launch in late October 2000. Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems is also building another two satellites, GE-8 and GE-9, which will be used to serve the expanding needs of GE Americom’s customers.
About GE Americom
With more than 25-years’ experience, GE American Communications, Inc. is recognized as a pioneer and a leading provider of global satellite communications solutions. With the integration of the recently acquired Columbia Communications’ transoceanic satellite capacity into GE Americom’s global fleet, GE Americom is able to provide end-to-end telecommunications solutions to any region in the world. GE Americom currently operates twelve satellites providing services to North America. In addition, GE-1E provides service for European and Middle Eastern markets. With the recent addition of GE-4 to the GE Americom fleet, and through Nahuelsat, an Argentine satellite operator, GE Americom is committed to the delivery of satellite-based communications services throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. And with the launch of GE-1A, scheduled for October 2000, GE Americom will be able to deliver services into China, India and the large population centers of Northeast Asia. GE Americom’s key customers include ABC Radio Networks, AT&T Alascom, British Telecom, Cidera, Deutsche Welle, Discovery, Disney, Gannett, Gilat, ICG, Merlin, NBC, the New York Times, NHK, PaxNet, PBS, TELE Greenland, TV Europa, TimeWarner/ Turner Broadcasting and Viacom.
GE Americom is a GE Capital business. GE Capital, with assets of more than $345 billion, is a global, diversified financial services company with 28 specialized businesses. A wholly-owned subsidiary of General Electric Company, GE Capital, based in Stamford, CT, provides equipment management, mid-market and specialized financing, specialty insurance and a variety of consumer services, such as car leasing, home mortgages and credit cards, to businesses and individuals around the world. GE is a diversified services, technology and manufacturing company with operations worldwide.
Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems markets, designs and builds geostationary and non-geostationary telecommunications and remote sensing satellites for customers worldwide. LMCSS is an operating unit of Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, one of the core business areas of the Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE: LMT). Lockheed Martin has a 41-year heritage of building reliable spacecraft for commercial and military customers, having launched more than 875 spacecraft and clocking nearly 1,100 years of on-orbit performance experience.