Loral Space and Communications signed an agreement with China Great Wall Industry on 16 March for five launches by 2002 of company-built satellites on the Long March 3B.

The LM3B, the most powerful booster in China's fleet, with a geostationary transfer orbit capability of 5,000kg, clocked up two successful launches last year following a disastrous maiden flight in 1996.

It is to launch two national communications satellites, the ChinaStar 1 and Sinosat 1, four Hughes- built communications satellites and one a Loral-built satellite, included in the recent signing.

Source: Flight International