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PALO ALTO, Calif. – September 14, 2015 — Space Systems/Loral, LLC (SSL), a leading provider of commercial satellites, today announced that it reached the milestone of 100 satellites built on the SSL 1300, a platform designed to accommodate evolving technology and innovation. The 100th 1300, which was delivered to launch base on August 26, is a highly advanced broadband satellite that will provide fast internet service to homes and businesses across the continent of Australia and its external territories.

“Over the 30 plus years that I have worked in the industry, the demand for satellite services has seen considerable growth,” said John Celli, president of SSL. “At the time of the first 1300, we had no idea that there would be demand for high definition television, or that people on planes and ships would want to browse the web. The delivery of the 100th 1300 is tangible evidence of the success we have had in implementing new technology to serve changing markets, while at the same time preserving the heritage and on-orbit performance that our customers require.”

The first 1300, called SUPERBIRD-A, was launched in 1989 for Space Communications Corporation (SCC), a Japanese provider of commercial satellite services that subsequently became SKY Perfect JSAT. Named after its original dry mass of 1,300 kg, the satellite platform evolved out of a project to develop a 3-kW satellite, which was the highest power ever achieved at the time. Compared to SUPERBIRD, today’s 1300 provides eight times the power, 30 percent longer life, and can accommodate four times as many transponders.

A Platform for Innovation
As a company that embraces innovation, in the 1980s the engineering team was forward looking in creating a platform that allowed new technologies to be introduced incrementally. The success of this approach, which maintains heritage and carefully manages risk, can be seen in the fact that each generational change has proven to be more reliable than the previous generation. Today’s 1300, while readily identifiable as a descendant of SUPERBIRD, is in fact, built on all new technology.

The SSL 1300 is one of the world’s most popular satellites, and there are more SSL 1300s currently on orbit and providing commercial service than any other model communications satellite. Over the years it was the first platform to incorporate many innovations.

  • It was the first satellite to use a 100-volt bus and Direct Radiating Collector (DRC) amplifiers, providing the higher power needed for direct-to-home television.
  • It was the first true high-throughput satellite, an advance which now enables millions of people around the world to have access to high speed broadband.
  • It was the first to reach 20-kW of power, which enables satellite broadcast of today’s HD and UltraHD television.
  • It was the first satellite to provide two-way ground-based beam forming, which increases a satellite’s flexibility to meet changing business requirements.

Other advances:

  • The 1300 was one of the first platforms to use shaped antenna reflectors, which enable precisely defined coverage areas.
  • The 1300 was the first Western satellite to use electric propulsion, which reduces mass allowing for more payload power or a less costly launch. Today there are 18 1300s with electric propulsion on orbit.
  • The 1300 was one of the first platforms to incorporate lithium-ion batteries, which have 50 percent less mass than the nickel-hydrogen batteries they replaced and helped to enable higher power satellites.
  • The world’s two highest capacity broadband satellites currently providing service are built on the 1300 platform.

The 100th 1300 for the new broadband network (nbn™) in Australia, exemplifies how the platform has evolved. It is the first 1300 to mount 8 large antenna reflectors using a unique boom configuration providing 101 spot beams in two different sizes. With more than 125 transponders, throughput capacity is precisely tailored to a highly varied geographic user distribution. Other innovations include advanced low noise amplifiers to improve RF performance and it is the first satellite to use a third generation high-capacity battery for reduced mass.

Future Roadmap
SSL continues to qualify advances for future use on the 1300 with a focus on adding flexibility and standardization. The company is working closely with its customers to incorporate innovations that will support the high performance, better economics, and increased accessibility that will broaden the appeal of satellite-based solutions. The 1300 will continue to provide the value and adaptability that satellite operators need to support next generation applications and SSL is working to ensure that the next one hundred 1300s reflect dramatic improvements in cost, schedule, mass, and flexibility.


About SSL
Space Systems/Loral (SSL) is a leading provider of commercial satellites with broad expertise to support satellite operators and innovative space-related missions. The company designs and manufactures spacecraft for services such as direct-to-home television, video content distribution, broadband Internet, mobile communications, and Earth observation. As a Silicon Valley innovator for more than 50 years, SSL’s advanced product line also includes state-of-the-art small satellites, and sophisticated robotics and automation solutions for remote operations.  For more information, visit


Forward-Looking Statements

This news release contains forward-looking statements and information, which reflect the current view of Space Systems/Loral (SSL) with respect to future events and financial performance.  When used in this news release, the words “believes”, “expects”, “plans”, “may”, “will”, “would”, “could”, “should”, “anticipates”, “estimates”, “project”, “intend” or “outlook” or other variations of these words or other similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements and information. Actual results may differ materially from the expectations expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements as a result of known and unknown risks and uncertainties. Known risks and uncertainties include but are not limited to: risks associated with operating satellites and providing satellite services, including satellite construction or launch delays, launch failures, in-orbit failures or impaired satellite performance; risks associated with satellite manufacturing, including competition, cyclicality of SSL’s end-user markets, contractual risks, creditworthiness of customers, performance of suppliers and management of SSL’s factory and personnel; risk associated with financial factors such as volatility in exchange rates, increases in interest rates, restrictions on access to capital, and swings in global financial markets; risks associated with domestic and foreign government regulation, including export controls and economic sanctions; and other risks, including litigation. The foregoing list of important factors is not exhaustive. The information contained in this news release reflects SSL’s beliefs, assumptions, intentions, plans and expectations as of the date of this news release. Except as required by law, SSL disclaims any obligation or undertaking to update or revise the information herein.

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