SES confirms 3 more ILS launchers

Satellite operator SES has committed to 3 more launches with International Launch Services (ILS). They cover SES Sirius and SES New Skies satellites, plus one other.

The actual ILS contract was signed back in June 2007, and covered 6 launches. The idea was that by committing to a portfolio of launches ahead of time it would provide flexibility and timeliness to market in a period where there remains considerable uncertainty over launch availability. ILS uses the Krunichev/Proton rocket system from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Two of the primary missions will be NSS-14 for SES New Skies and Sirius 5 for SES Sirius. These missions are scheduled respectively for late 2010 and 2011. NSS-14 is poised to be the largest satellite in the SES New Skies fleet and will enhance what is already the largest neighbourhood in the Atlantic Ocean region at 338 degrees East. Sirius 5 is a multi-mission satellite for the SES group serving Northern Europe and the Baltic region as well as the African markets with Ku- and C-band from the orbital location of 5 degrees East. Additionally, Proton has been designated to launch the OS-1 mission in early 2010, destined for US coverage.