Hughes Space and Communications has received contracts to build the PanAmSat PAS 6B satellite and two spacecraft for the American Mobile Radio Corporation (AMRC).

The PAS 6B is a rapid replacement for the Space Systems-Loral-built PAS 6 which has suffered electrical failures in orbit. PanAmSat has also expressed technical and delivery concerns about `Loral-built PAS 7 and 8 satellites.

The PAS 6B, which will be launched on an Ariane later this year, is an HS-601 High Power model, generating 8kW of power using gallium arsenide solar arrays, for its 32 Ku-band transponders and a xenon ion propulsion system.

The AMRC satellites will be the fourth and fifth HS-702 models - after three later PAS craft - and will be launched in April and August 2000. They will provide 9.5kW of power for the Alcatel-built S band digital audio radio payload.

Source: Flight International