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Wednesday, 14 March 2012 16:17

NewSat finalises Jabiru-1 launch contract

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Satellite service provider NewSat (ASX: NWT) has finalised an agreement with Arianespace for the launch of its planned Jabiru-1 satellite.

Announcing the agreement, NewSat said: "The agreement...updates the previous launch reservation agreement announced on 8 December 2011, with final launch service specifications and details."

However NewSat has still to close financing for Jabiru-1. NewSat founder and CEO, Adrian Ballintine, said: "The Jabiru-1 satellite project continues to progress extremely well. To date, we have secured $US526m in pre-launch customer contracts and have pulled together the world's best team to design, build and launch the satellite. Export credit debt financing continues to progress according to plan, with final financial close expected in the first half of this year."

If that happens, Jabiru-1 will be launched into geostationary transfer orbit by an Ariane 5 launch vehicle from the Guiana Space Centre in French Guiana during the fourth quarter of 2014.

The satellite is being built by Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems using an A2100 platform. It will weigh almost six tonnes at launch and will be fitted with 50 Ka-band transponders configured for a variety of multi-spot, steerable and regional beams.

At the time the contract was announced, in November 2011, Ballintine said it included a clause requiring closure of Jabiru-1 financing by the end of FY12.

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