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Australia boosts Intelsat IS-22 payload
by Staff Writers
Canberra, Australia (UPI) May 6, 2010

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only

Australia has agreed to boost its Intelsat IS-22 UHF communications payload and will share capacity with the United States.

The two announcements mean the Australian government is spending another $175 million to buy the full Intelsat IS-22 UHF payload to improve the military's communication within the Middle East and Afghanistan regions.

The Intelsat Corporation will launch the satellite in 2012. Under Intelsat's agreement with Australia, the company is expected to operate the Australian military payload and provide related services for 15 years following the launch.

The Australian Department of Defense had been negotiating to purchase part of the satellite's payload since April 2009 under the Defense Capability Plan Joint Project 2008 Phase 5A, Minister for Defense John Faulkner said. That deal was signed last month.

But Faulkner's latest announcement means Australia now will be paying nearly $431 million.

"Purchasing the full satellite payload will improve operational effectiveness and enhance the communications support to Australia's deployed forces in the Middle East and Afghanistan," Faulkner said.

The deal coincides with the visit by the U.S. Department of Defense Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. James Cartwright.

Faulkner also announced that Australia and the United States had signed a Memorandum of Understanding to share their narrowband UHF communications resources.

Cartwright and Australia's Vice Chief of the Defense Force Lt. Gen. David Hurley exchanged the SATCOM MoU in Canberra last week.

The MoU means that Australia will provide the United States with added communications capacity for its operations in Afghanistan by using the Australian payload on the IS-22.

In turn the Australian military will have access to communications capacity over the Pacific Ocean region from U.S. satellite resources, Faulkner said in a written statement. The UHF Communications MoU compliments the Wideband Global System satellite partnership between Australia and the United States.

Both defense forces will make "significant savings" and the deal will provide "a more robust communications capability for the war fighter and add another dimension to the Australian-United States alliance."

Intelsat, a provider of fixed satellite services, announced its plan to add Intelsat IS-22 to its fleet in April 2009. It is expected to be launched in the first quarter of 2012 and will serve at the 72 degree East longitude orbital location over the Indian Ocean.

Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems will manufacture the satellite that will be based on a Boeing 702B bus, also used by the WGS constellation.

IS-22 will have 48 C-band and 24 Ku-band 36 MHz equivalent transponders and a UHF payload with 18 25-kHz channels. Under Intelsat's agreement with Australia, all of the 18-channel UHF payload will be reserved for the Australian Defense Force and the U.S. military.

The UHF payload also will be compliant with U.S. Department of Defense Mil-Std-188-181 and Volna Treaty (Russian) requirements for interoperability.


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