Loral Space & Communications has been chosen by Asia Satellite Telecommunications Company Limited (AsiaSat), Hong Kong, to build AsiaSat 5, a new generation communications satellite designed to offer improved power and coverage to AsiaSat's customers across the Asia Pacific region.

Loral has a well-established history of providing satellites for many of the premier operators in the Asia Pacific region," said Pat DeWitt, president, Space Systems/Loral. "We look forward to continuing that heritage by building this new addition to the AsiaSat fleet."

AsiaSat 5, a fixed satellite services (FSS) spacecraft expected to launch in 2008, will replace and expand upon the services provided by AsiaSat 2 at 100.5 degrees East longitude. The satellite will be based on SS/L's 1300 platform, which features qualified, flight proven subsystems and a long record of reliable operation.

"We selected SS/L to build the AsiaSat 5 satellite after a long evaluation and are very happy with the technology and value they provide to AsiaSat," said Peter Jackson, CEO, AsiaSat. "We are especially pleased with SS/L's record of building reliable and flexible satellites and its commitment to stand behind each product. We look forward to bringing to our customers in Asia the improved services this satellite will offer."

The satellite's payload will carry both C- and Ku-band transponders and has a 15-year mission life. AsiaSat 5 will be compatible with a range of commercial launch vehicles.