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Global Xpress launch date confirmed

Inmarsat has confirmed that the third satellite in the Global Xpress (GX) programme – Inmarsat-5 F3 (I-5 F3) – has been scheduled for launch on Friday 28th August.

{mprestriction ids="1,2"}The third Global Xpress satellite to be launched, the satellite will be sent into orbit from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 12.44pm (BST). 

I-5 F3 will cover the Pacific Ocean Region and will, together with Inmarsat-5 F1 and Inmarsat-5 F2, offer global coverage for the new Ka-band service. 

Inmarsat’s 5th generation satellites have all been built by Boeing Satellite Systems International Inc. in California, with the launch being undertaken for Inmarsat by International Launch Services (ILS).

The launch will use the troubled Proton vehicle, which has suffered a litany of failures in recent years and caused the introduction of global GX services to be significantly delayed. Inmarsat will be hopeful that 28th August will finally see the schedule completed and the third satellite successfully deployed in geostationary orbit.

“The completion of the Global Xpress constellation will be a significant milestone for our organisation and is fundamental to the delivery of a new era in mobile satellite communications which will change the future for us all,” said Rupert Pearce, CEO of Inmarsat.

“We believe that our GX technology will drive innovation and support value-added services and solutions for our government and enterprise customers on land, at sea and in the air; in opportunities as diverse as the merchant maritime, business and commercial aviation, government, energy & resources and enterprise VSAT segments.”

“We are particularly pleased that GX will support vital programmes enabling governments to meet the rapidly changing requirements of our world, including the transformation of remote societies that are currently inadequately served by terrestrial networks.”

The first Global Xpress satellite – Inmarsat-5 F1 – was launched in December 2013 and entered commercial service in July 2014, covering Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

This was followed by the launch of Inmarsat-5 F2 on 1st February 2015, which covers the Americas and the Atlantic Ocean and which will enter commercial service in late August.

Following the successful launch of I-5 F3, Inmarsat says it expects to commence global commercial GX services by the end of the year.{/mprestriction}

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