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Asiasat contracts Space Systems/Loral to build Asiasat 5

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MUMBAI: Satellite operator Asiasat has signed a construction agreement with Space Systems/Loral (SS/L) to design and build Asiasat 5, a replacement satellite for Asiasat 2.

Asiasat 5 will launch in the second quarter of 2008. It will be built on a SS/L?s 1300 series satellite platform and will carry 26 C-band and 14 Ku-band transponders with an estimated operational life of 15 years.

Asiasat 5?s C-band footprint will offer a more powerful pan-Asian coverage than that of AsiaSat 2. Its Ku-band coverage will consist of three high power beams, two of which will cover East Asia and South Asia and an in-orbit steerable beam that can be positioned to provide service anywhere within Asiasat 5?s geographic coverage.

Asiasat 5 is designed to replace Asiasat 2 at the orbital location of 100.5 degrees East in advance of Asiasat 2?s scheduled retirement of 2010. Launching Asiasat 5 satellite two years earlier than required allows sufficient time to construct and launch a replacement satellite if necessary.

Asiasat CEO Peter Jackson says, ?The SS/L 1300 series satellite is a space-proven platform and it offers the performance, reliability and cost effectiveness our customers require for AsiaSat 5. This satellite will allow Asiasat to expand our capacity and provide Asiasat with the capability of serving more diverse satellite services from this popular orbital slot of 100.5 degrees East.

"Planning this project well ahead of Asiasat 2?s retirement confirms our commitment to ensure continuity of service to our customers in the years ahead.?

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