United States: Space Business Review - February 2015

A monthly round-up of space industry developments for the information of our clients and friends.


On February 6, Harris Corporation (Harris) and Exelis, Inc. (Exelis) announced a definitive agreement pursuant to which Harris will acquire Exelis for $4.75b, or $23.75 per share, in a cash and stock transaction. Under the terms of the agreement, Exelis shareholders will receive $16.625 in cash and 0.1025 of a share of Harris common stock, based on Harris' closing price as of February 5, 2015, for each share of Exelis common stock. Upon consummation of the transaction, Harris shareholders will own 85%, and Exelis shareholders will own 15%, of the combined company. The acquisition is expected to close in June 2015, subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory and Exelis shareholder approvals.


On February 17, Intelsat S.A. (Intelsat) and Azercosmos OJSCo. (Azercosmos) announced that they signed a strategic agreement for collaboration on the development and operation of the Azerspace-2/Intelsat 38 satellite, which will provide DTH, government and network services from the 45°E orbital location. The new satellite will provide continuity of service and enhanced capacity, coverage and service offerings to support growing demand from customers across Europe, Africa, Central and South Asia and the Middle East. Azerspace- 2/Intelsat 38 is scheduled for launch in 2017.


On February 5, Intelsat S.A. (Intelsat) and Kymeta Corporation announced an agreement to co-design and produce mTenna" satellite antennas optimized for the Intelsat EpicNG HTS satellite platform. These innovative, flat, thin, light and low-cost metamaterials-based Ku-band antennas will afford Intelsat flexibility to establish connectivity in cases where traditional antennas are neither practical nor feasible. The first EpicNG satellite is expected to be launched late this year.


On February 12, Virgin Galactic Ltd. (Virgin) announced the opening of a new facility in Long Beach, California, which will be dedicated to design and manufacturing activities for the LauncherOne launch vehicle. LauncherOne is a two-stage air-launch system for satellites weighing up to 225 kg and will use the same aircraft, WhiteKnightTwo, as Virgin's SpaceShipTwo suborbital vessel.


On February 9, Orbital Sciences Corporation and the Aerospace and Defense Groups of Alliant Techsystems Inc. completed their merger to become Orbital ATK, Inc., a new $4.5b space, defense and aviation systems manufacturer, which will conduct business through three operating groups, namely Flight Systems, Defense Systems and Space Systems.


On February 1, ILS International Launch Services Inc. (ILS) successfully launched the Inmarsat-5 F2 (I-5 F2) satellite for Inmarsat plc (Inmarsat) on a Proton launch vehicle. Manufactured by Boeing Satellite Systems International Inc. based on the 702HP satellite platform, I-5 F2 is equipped with 89 fixed and 6 steerable Ka-band beams. I-5 F2 is the second of three next-generation Global Xpress satellites scheduled for launch on the ILS Proton. Global Xpress will be the first globally available, highspeed broadband network available through a single network operator.


On February 16, SES S.A. (SES) announced its selection of manufacturers for its procurement of three new satellites. For the SES-14 satellite, SES selected Airbus Defence and Space. SES-14 will feature C- and Ku-band wide beam coverage, and Ku- and Ka-band HTS coverage, for DTH, Directto- Cable, VSAT, mobile backhaul, maritime and aeronautical services. For the SES-15 satellite, SES selected Boeing Satellite Systems International Inc. SES-15 will be equipped with a hybrid Ku- and Ka-band payload to provide aeronautical, government, VSAT and maritime services. For the SES-16/GovSat satellite, to be operated by LuxGovSat S.A. (LuxGovSat), a joint venture between SES and the Government of Luxembourg, SES announced that LuxGovSat has selected Orbital ATK, Inc. SES-16/GovSat will use X-band and military Ka-band frequencies to provide government services.


On February 25, SES S.A. (SES) announced that it selected Space Exploration Technologies Corporation to launch the SES-14 and SES- 16/GovSat satellites on the Falcon 9 launch vehicle in 2017. SES-14 will provide coverage of the Americas and the North Atlantic region from the 47.5/48°W orbital position. SES-16/GovSat will provide coverage of Europe, the Middle East and Africa from the 21.5°E orbital position.

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