ASIA Telecommunications Satellite (Asiasat) has ordered an HS-601 high-power spacecraft from Hughes to be launched in 1997 as the Asiasat 3. It will be the 61st three-axis-stabilised HS-601 model to be ordered since the world's best-selling satellite series was introduced in 1988.

Hughes provided the Asiasat 1 - a modified HS-376 spin-stabilised model - but the Asiasat 2, which was launched in November 1995, was built by Lockheed Martin. The Asiasat 3, will have 7kW of payload power available and will make use of gallium-arsenide, rather than utilising silicon solar cells.

The contract represents another Asia Pacific success for Hughes. Asia Pacific Mobile Communications has ordered two HS-601s. Hughes has built 40% of the communications satellites in operation in geostationary orbit.

Source: Flight International