Tim Furniss/LONDON

Hughes Space and Communications has received a contract to build the first Anik F series communications satellite for Telesat Canada.

The contract brings to 38 the number of geostationary orbit (GEO) communications spacecraft on Hughes' orderbook, with a further two craft on order for meteorological applications.

The Anik F1 will be launched in 2000 on an as yet to be decided commercial booster and will be stationed at 107.3íW to provide communications services to North and South America.

It will be Hughes' sixth HS-702 spacecraft model, the largest and most powerful in the company's inventory, introduced in 1995 to provide high power, high capacity, multiple payloads to the market. The spacecraft provides a 75% increase in capacity over the successful HS-601 satellite series.

The satellite will be equipped with 48 Ku-band and 36 C-band transponders, will operate at 15kW, using gallium arsenide solar cell arrays, and will carry Hughes' flight-proven xenon ion propulsion system for all on-orbit manoeuvring.

Hughes has supplied eight Anik A-D satellites to Telesat, starting in 1972. The Anik Es were built by Canada's Spar Aerospace with the former GE Astro Space, now part of Lockheed Martin.

The receipt of the Anik F1 order follows the recent contracts to build the PanAmSat PAS 6B satellite and two spacecraft for the American Mobile Radio Corporation (Flight International, 1-7 April). Satellite orders received so far this year exceed $1 billion, according to Hughes.

Source: Flight International