Luxembourg and Vancouver, BC
Intelsat S.A., the world's leading provider of fixed satellite services, announced today that it has entered into an agreement with MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. ("MDA") for the servicing of Intelsat's on-orbit satellites via a space-based service vehicle to be provided by MDA. The innovative technology has the potential to extend the useful lives of Intelsat's satellites and enhance in-orbit reliability. The services provided by MDA to Intelsat under this agreement are valued at more than US$280 million over the timeframe during which services will be delivered.
MDA plans to launch its Space Infrastructure Servicing (“SIS”) vehicle into near geosynchronous orbit, where it will service commercial and government satellites in need of additional fuel, re-positioning or other maintenance. MDA has selected Intelsat General Corporation as its exclusive channel to bring on-orbit services to the US Government.
The SIS vehicle is expected to be the first of its kind, utilizing a sophisticated robotics and docking system. This system will be based on work that MDA has previously performed for NASA, the Canadian Space Agency and various Department of Defense agencies. The SIS vehicle’s robotic arm will not only be used in refueling, but could also be used to perform critical maintenance and repair tasks, such as releasing jammed deployable arrays and stabilizing or towing smaller space objects or debris. Intelsat, the world’s largest operator of commercial satellites in the geosynchronous arc, is expected to provide flight operations support for the SIS vehicle for the life of the mission.
Under the terms of the agreement, MDA and Intelsat will work together to finalize specifications and other requirements over the next six months before both parties authorize the build phase of the program. The first refueling mission is to be available 3.5 years following the commencement of the build phase.
“On-orbit refueling and servicing is a game-changing innovation,” said Thierry Guillemin, Chief Technical Officer of Intelsat. “It is important for Intelsat, managing the largest commercial satellite fleet, to support technologies and tools that expand our capabilities in space. We intend to implement this technology as a tool in fleet management that will improve operational reliability, increase the return on our on-orbit assets, ensure good stewardship of the space environment and deliver this increased flexibility to our government customers as well.”
“We are very pleased to have Intelsat, the world’s leading provider of fixed satellite services, as the anchor customer for our new SIS offering and our partner in accessing the US government market,” said Dan Friedmann, President and CEO of MDA. “There is a clear need to service the world’s space infrastructure, both commercial and government. The combination of MDA’s unparalleled and proven space servicing capabilities and Intelsat’s commercial and government market presence is a good way to get this new service off the ground.”
To access an animation of how the on-orbit refueling process will work, please visit the following link:
Media attending SATELLITE 2011 are encouraged to attend Intelsat's press briefing in Room 103B at the Washington Convention Center. The event takes place Tuesday, March 15, 11am – noon, and will be attended by Intelsat CEO Dave McGlade, CTO Thierry Guillemin, Intelsat General Corporation President Kay Sears, and MDA Vice President Steve Oldham.
MDA will host a conference call and webcast at 6:30 a.m. PDT (9:30 a.m. EDT), featuring remarks by Dan Friedmann, president and CEO, and Anil Wirasekara, executive vice-president and CFO. A slide presentation will be available for viewing during the conference call and webcast. To access this slide presentation, please visit the following link:
Following the presentation, there will be an interactive question and answer session.
To participate, please call the conference line approximately five minutes prior to the commencement of the call:
Conference Call Dial-In Numbers:
Toll Free: 1-800-642-1687
The conference call will be archived at:
Intelsat is the leading provider of fixed satellite services worldwide. For over 45 years, Intelsat has been delivering information and entertainment for many of the world’s leading media and network companies, multinational corporations, Internet Service Providers and governmental agencies. Intelsat’s satellite, teleport and fiber infrastructure is unmatched in the industry, setting the standard for transmissions of video, data and voice services. From the globalization of content and the proliferation of HD, to the expansion of cellular networks and broadband access, with Intelsat, advanced communications anywhere in the world are closer, by far.
Intelsat Safe Harbor Statement
Some of the statements in this news release constitute "forward-looking statements" that do not directly or exclusively relate to historical facts. The forward-looking statements made in this release, reflect Intelsat's intentions, plans, expectations, assumptions and beliefs about future events and are subject to risks, including known and unknown risks. Detailed information about some of the known risks is included in Intelsat's annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended 31 December 2010 and Intelsat's other periodic reports filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Because actual results could differ materially from Intelsat's intentions, plans, expectations, assumptions and beliefs about the future, you are urged to view all forward-looking statements contained in this news release with caution. Intelsat does not undertake any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
MDA provides advanced information solutions that capture and process vast amounts of data, produce essential information, and improve the decision making and operational performance of business and government organizations worldwide.
Focused on markets and customers with strong repeat business potential, MDA delivers a broad spectrum of information solutions, ranging from complex operational systems, to tailored information services, to electronic information products.
The Company's common shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol TSX:MDA.
MDA Forward-Looking Statements
This release contains forward-looking statements and information, which reflect the current view of MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (“MDA”) with respect to future events and financial performance. The forward-looking statements in this regard include statements regarding the award of a contract. Any such forward-looking statements are based on MDA’s current expectations, estimates, projections and assumptions in light of its experience and its perception of historical trends. The factors and assumptions underlying the forward-looking statements in this release include contracts not being terminated. Any such forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations. MDA cautions readers that should certain risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary significantly from those expected. The risks that could cause actual results to differ from current expectations include failure of third parties and subcontractors; failure to maintain technological advances and market position; failure of systems to meet performance requirements; changes in government priorities, funding levels, contracts and regulations; satellite failure; and failure to anticipate changes in technology, technical standards and offerings or comply with the requisite standards.
For additional information with respect to certain of these risks or factors, plus additional risks or factors, reference should be made to MDA’s continuous disclosure materials filed from time to time with Canadian securities regulatory authorities, which are available online at www.sedar.com or on MDA’s website at www.mdacorporation.com.
The Toronto Stock Exchange has neither approved nor disapproved the form or content of this release.