London, UK: 23 December 2015. Inmarsat plc (LSE: ISAT.L), the leading provider of global mobile satellite communications services, today announced that Airbus Defence and Space (Airbus) has been awarded the contract to build the first two mobile communications satellites for Inmarsat’s sixth-generation fleet.
The contract, valued in the region of $600 million for construction of the two satellites, will see Airbus deliver the first satellite, Inmarsat-6 F1 (I-6 F1), by 2020. Uniquely for Inmarsat, the sixth-generation fleet will feature a dual-payload with each supporting both L-band and Ka-band services. The new satellites will represent a step change in the capabilities and capacity of Inmarsat’s L-band services.
“The Inmarsat-6 constellation confirms our continued commitment to delivering advanced L-band services for decades to come and to maximising the growth opportunities we see in this spectrum,” said Rupert Pearce, CEO of Inmarsat. “The new satellites will provide significantly greater L-band capacity and will be capable of supporting a new generation of more advanced services.
“The Ka-band co-payload adds depth to the breadth of the unique capabilities of our Global Xpress (GX) constellation, which now spans the world. We are confident that demand for GX will deliver incremental revenue opportunities, more than justifying our further investment in extending the capabilities of our Ka-band services.”
The Inmarsat-6 (I-6) satellites will be based on Airbus Defence and Space’s proven Eurostar platform in its E3000e variant, which exclusively uses electric propulsion for orbit raising. The satellite will take advantage of the reduction in mass that this electric propulsion technology enables for a dual payload mission, with an exceptionally large next generation digitally processed payload.
I-6 F1 is designed to remain in service for a minimum of 15 years.
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Inmarsat plc is the leading provider of global mobile satellite communications services. Since 1979, Inmarsat has been providing reliable voice and high-speed data communications to governments, enterprises and other organizations, with a range of services that can be used on land, at sea or in the air. Inmarsat employs around 1,600 staff in more than 60 locations around the world, with a presence in the major ports and centres of commerce on every continent. Inmarsat is listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE:ISAT.L).
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Airbus Defence and Space is a division of Airbus Group formed by combining the business activities of Cassidian, Astrium and Airbus Military. The new division is Europe’s number one defence and space enterprise, the second largest space business worldwide and among the top ten global defence enterprises. It employs more than 38,000 employees generating revenues of approximately €13 billion per year.