Mitsubishi Electric Receives Orders For Superbird 7 From SCC
In a commercial communications satellite market dominated by American manufacturers, Mitsubishi Electric (President and CEO Tamotsu Nomakuchi) announced today it received an order for the Superbird 7 communication satellite from Space Communications Corporation (SCC), making Mitsubishi Electric the first Japanese company to enter the commercial communications satellite market.
The companies concluded a contract to start its design and production, aiming for a launch of the satellite in the first quarter of 2008.
Although currently promoting its Superbird C satellite in various cable television delivery, Satellite News Gathering (SNG), and intra-corporate, and mobile communications ventures, SCC issued a RFP in April of this year for procurement of the Superbird 7, the replacement to the Superbird C.
After an international bid for the contract, Mitsubishi Electric received first contract negotiation rights with SCC on June 28th. On October 31st, both parties concluded a contract, agreeing to satellite specifications as well as other terms and conditions.
All 18 of Japan's current broadcast and commercial communications satellites are US-made. The order for the Superbird 7 will mark the first entry into a market monopolized by American manufacturers.
Details of the Contract
Increased cost competitiveness with DS2000
Although competitive with non-Japanese manufacturers in technical terms, domestic manufacturers have suffered from a lack of cost competitiveness and little or no track record.
The date of delivery and the terms of the contract were generally approved of because of Mitsubishi Electric's privately developed Japanese-made DS2000 satellite bus platform. Its cost competitiveness was seen in its use of the Multi-functional Transport Satellite-2 (MTSAT-2).
Delivery In Orbit contract
This agreement with SCC is for a 'delivery-in-orbit' (DIO) contract, in which Mitsubishi Electric will manage the project entirely. From manufacturing of essential parts at its Kamakura Works, delivery of the satellite, providing launch procurement, to final extensive in-orbit testing prior to final customer acceptance, Mitsubishi Electric will provide SCC with end-to-end support.
Mitsubishi Electric's involvement and future ventures in satellites for business
Mitsubishi Electric has established itself as a leading manufacturer for Japanese space development by being the prime contractor for the National Space Development Agency (NASDA) (a), handling close to half of their projects for close to 40 years. Mitsubishi Electric has also provided satellite components to over 240 non-Japanese satellite projects.
However, the global commercial satellite market is overwhelmingly dominated by US and European manufacturers, and this has led to the monopolization of the Japanese commercial satellite market as well by American manufacturers. The order for the Superbird 7, with its satellite bus also made by Japanese manufacturer Mitsubishi Electric, is a milestone in the commercial satellite market.
(a) merged with the Japan Aerospace eXploration Agency (JAXA) on October 1, 2003
(b) At an exchange rate of 107 yen to the US dollar, the rate given by the Tokyo Foreign Exchange Market on March 31, 2005.
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