SES Orders Maritime Telecom Satellite from Boeing

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ROME Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems will build the SES-9 telecommunications satellite for launch in 2015 into a slot over East Asia with beams for Indian Ocean maritime services, SES announced Oct. 10.

The contract is further proof of El Segundo, Calif.-based Boeing’s strength in the commercial satellite market following development of a new satellite design. Boeing secured satellite fleet operator Intelsat of Luxembourg and Washington, the world’s largest commercial fleet operator, as anchor customer for the 702HP platform. With the order from Luxembourg-based SES, the company now has booked the world’s second-largest operator. It is the first Boeing satellite ordered by SES in years.

SES-9 will carry 57 Ku-band transponders, equivalent to 81 36-megahertz transponders. It will be stationed at 108.2 degrees east in geostationary orbit and will be co-located with the SES-7 and NSS-11 satellites

SES-9 will use ion-electric propulsion to maintain the satellite’s position in orbit and chemical propulsion to carry it to final geostationary position from the transfer orbit where it will be separated from its launch vehicle. Boeing is also commercializing an all-electric design that employs electric thrusters to do both the orbit raising and the in-orbit station keeping, a design that SES has said it ultimately expects to use.

SES said the contract includes an option to purchase a second satellite. In addition to beams for maritime communications in the Indian Ocean, SES-9 will provide direct-broadcast television in Northeast and South Asia and Indonesia, SES said.