Lockheed Martin to Build Viet Nam’s First Satellite

Viet Nam Post and Telecommunications (VNPT) Corporation yesterday signed a contract with the American Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems to manufacture Viet Nam’s Vinasat communications satellite, the first of its kind for the country.

Lockheed Martin, with a proposal package of US$168 million, beat French EADS Astrium/Alcatel Alenia Space and Japanese Sumitomo Corporation. The initial investment budgeted by VNPT for the project was $270 million.

As per VNPT’s term, Lockheed Martin will be responsible for insurance, rocket launch of the satellite, ground-control center, training and transferring technology to operate the satellite.

The 2,200kg satellite will include from 25 to 30 sets of communication modules, each equivalent to 500 telephone channels.

The satellite is expected to stay in orbit for 15 years to transmit television, radio and civil aviation signals.

Once in orbit, the satellite would cover even the most remote areas of Viet Nam, along with other Southeast Asian countries and parts of China and Japan.

VNPT had requested Lockheed Martin launch the satellite into orbit by May of 2008, said Pham Long Tran, VNPT chairman.

Source: Vietnam News