PALO ALTO, CALIF. - October 1, 2003 - Space Systems/Loral (SS/L), a subsidiary of Loral Space & Communications (OTCBB: LRLSQ), announced today that DIRECTV, Inc., El Segundo, Calif., has issued SS/L authorizations to proceed (ATPs) with the design and construction of two satellites: DIRECTV 8 and DIRECTV 9S. Aggregate revenue for the construction of the two satellites will be in excess of $220 million.
"DIRECTV's award represents Loral's second and third orders for commercial satellite construction this year and a total of 14 for the industry - a positive indicator of a resurgence in satellite manufacturing sales," said Bernard L. Schwartz, chairman and chief executive officer of Loral Space & Communications. "For Loral, the orders are a significant step forward in the execution of our business plan under the reorganization process. As satellite operators resume their normal procurement patterns, we believe SS/L will benefit as the preferred provider of the most advanced and most reliable commercial communications satellites available anywhere. We are most appreciative of DIRECTV's confidence in SS/L's ability to provide state-of-the-art satellites for its mission critical applications."
The ATPs have been submitted for approval by the Bankruptcy Court.
DIRECTV 8, to be delivered in the late first quarter of 2005, will provide national coverage from the 101 degrees West longitude orbital slot, DIRECTV's primary orbital slot. The satellite will also be able to operate from DIRECTV's orbital slots at 110 and 119 degrees West longitude. The satellite will carry 16 high-power transponders for high-quality national digital video services.
DIRECTV 9S, scheduled for delivery in the late second quarter of 2005, is designed to operate from orbital locations at 101 degrees West longitude or 119 degrees West longitude. As a back-up for DIRECTV's 4S and 7S satellites, it will be capable of providing up to 54 transponders for high-quality local and national digital video service broadcast into 27 beams. In an alternate configuration, the satellite will be capable of providing up to 44 transponders broadcast into 30 beams.
"We selected SS/L to design and manufacture these two advanced satellites because it was best able to meet our schedule and technical requirements," said Jim Butterworth, senior vice president, Communications Systems, DIRECTV, Inc. "These spacecraft will provide DIRECTV with back-up capabilities as we continue to build out our network. We're confident in SS/L's ability to deliver in accordance with our agreed upon specifications."
With the completion of DIRECTV 8 and DIRECTV 9S, Loral will have manufactured five - more than half - of the satellites in DIRECTV's fleet. SS/L is currently building DIRECTV 7S, a high-power, spot-beam satellite scheduled for launch in mid to late first quarter of 2004.
DIRECTV 8 and DIRECTV 9S are based on SS/L's space-proven 1300 satellite platform, which has an excellent record of reliable operation. The geostationary 1300 has a designed service life of 15 years and maintains station-keeping and orbital stability by using bipropellant propulsion and momentum management systems. A system of high efficiency solar arrays and lightweight batteries provides uninterrupted electrical power. In all, SS/L satellites have amassed more than 1000 years of on-orbit service.
DIRECTV is the nation's leading digital multichannel television service provider with more than 11.8 million customers. DIRECTV and the Cyclone Design logo are trademarks of DIRECTV, Inc., a unit of Hughes Electronics Corp. HUGHES is a world-leading provider of digital television entertainment, broadband services, satellite-based private business net-works, and global video and data broadcasting. The earnings of HUGHES, a unit of General Motors Corporation, are used to calculate the earnings per share attributable to the General Motors Class H common stock (NYSE: GMH). For more information, visit www.directv.com.
Space Systems/Loral is a premier designer, manufacturer, and integrator of powerful satel-lites and satellite systems. SS/L also provides a range of related services that include mission control operations and procurement of launch services. Based in Palo Alto, Calif., the company has an international base of commercial and governmental customers whose applications include broadband digital communications, direct-to-home broadcast, defense communications, environmental monitoring, and air traffic control. SS/L is ISO 9001:2000 certified. For more information, visit www.ssloral.com.
Loral Space & Communications is a satellite communications company. Through its Skynet subsidiary, it owns and operates a global fleet of telecommunications satellites used by television and cable networks to broadcast video entertainment programming, and by communication service providers, resellers, corporate and government customers for broadband data transmission, Internet services and other value-added communications services. Loral also is a world-class leader in the design and manufacture of satellites and satellite systems through its Space Systems/Loral subsidiary.
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This document contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. In addition, Loral Space & Communications Ltd. or its representatives have made or may make forward-looking statements, orally or in writing, which may be included in, but are not limited to, various filings made by the company with the Securities and Exchange Commission, press releases or oral statements made with the approval of an authorized executive officer of the company. Actual results could differ materially from those projected or suggested in any forward-looking statements as a result of a wide variety of factors and conditions. These factors include those related to the filing, on July 15, 2003 by Loral and certain of its subsidiaries, of voluntary petitions for reorganization under Chapter 11 of Title 11 of the United States Code in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York and parallel insolvency proceedings in the Supreme Court of Bermuda in which certain partners of KPMG were appointed as joint provisional liquidators. Additional factors and conditions are also described in the section of the com-pany's annual report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2002, entitled "Certain Factors That May Affect Fu-ture Results," and the company's other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The reader is specifically referred to these documents.
Jeanette Clonan or John McCarthy
Loral Space & Communications