Tim Furniss/LONDON

CHINA ORIENT Telecom Satellite has awarded Lockheed Martin the contract to build its ChinaStar 1 satellite which will be launched on a Long March 3 booster in late 1997.

Although China has built its own geostationary communications satellites, it does not have the capability to build large, high- power craft for sophisticated applications, such as direct-to-home, high-power TV transmissions and mobile communications.

The ChinaStar 1 brings Lockheed Martin's orders for the new A2100 spacecraft to seven. The model will be equipped with 18 C-band and 20 Ku-band transponders, providing voice, data and TV services throughout China (Flight International, 24-30 May).

Lockheed Martin is bidding for another Chinese satellite contract in competition with Hughes and Space Systems Loral. Beijing-based Asia Pacific Mobile Telecommunications (APMT) is expected to award a contract later this year. APMT consists of Singapore Telecom and Chinese agencies, including China Aerospace.

Russia has received its first commercial contract to build an international communications satellite. With France's Alcatel, the NPO Priklanoy Mekhaniki organisation will build a Sesat craft for Eutelsat. (Flight International, 26 July). The contract is worth $380 million.

Source: Flight International