Inmarsat comments on Inmarsat-5 launch schedule
Inmarsat has a contract with International Launch Services ("ILS") for the launch of two Inmarsat-5 satellites ("F2" and "F3") using the Proton launch vehicle. These two satellites will complete our Global Xpress ("GX") network of three satellites and allow for the start of GX services on a global basis. The first Inmarsat-5 satellite ("F1") was successfully launched using Proton in December 2013 and remains on track to begin commercial operations in July 2014.
On 15 May 2014, a Proton launch vehicle failed shortly after lift-off, resulting in the loss of its satellite payload. The cause of the failure will be assessed by a process known as the Failure Review Oversight Board ("FROB") and a report of its findings is expected to be completed in the next two months.
While the conclusions of the FROB will be important in determining the impact on our launch schedule, we believe a delay in the planned launch of both the Inmarsat-5 F2 and F3 is now likely, which would delay the launch of GX services on a global basis. However, the start of commercial GX services on a regional basis using F1 (and F2 in due course), as well as existing customer commitments to purchase GX services, will not be impacted by any delay in global service availability.
Inmarsat's existing L-band business is entirely unaffected by any GX launch delay and continues to trade in line with management expectations.
*This regulatory notice was originally posted on the London Stock Exchange News Service