SES-3 (AMC-1R) at 103° West
|Launch vehicle:||Proton M/Breeze|
|Expected lifetime:||15+ Years|
SES Americom (formerly GE Americom) awarded Orbital Sciences Corp. (Orbital ATK – Northrop Grumman) in May 2007 an order for as many as five new satellites over a multi-year period. SES Americom placed a firm order for two new satellites, the first designated as AMC-5R and the second a ground spare that was launched to another orbital location as a replacement satellite.
Deliveries of the first two satellites were scheduled for mid- and late-2009, respectively. In addition to the two satellites that Orbital immediately began constructing, the contract gave SES Americom the option to order up to three more identical satellites over the next few years after.
The AMC-5R and the identical ground spare spacecraft were hybrid satellites, each carrying 24 active C-band and 24 Ku-band transponders of 36MHz capacity each. Some of the channels in each band would also be cross-strapped, enabling new service capability. Each spacecraft would generate approximately 5kW of payload power and would have two deployable reflectors.
SES Americom announced in April 2008 the order of a third spacecraft under the multi-satellite contract both companies announced in May 2007. Under this contract, the earlier ordered ground spare became AMC-4R (originally designated AMC-1R), and a new ground spare will be produced for a future use.
In early 2010, the satellites were renamed from AMC-4R, AMC-5R and AMC ground spare to SES-1, SES-2 and SES-3 respectively.
SES-3 was launched on July 15th, 2011, on a Proton M booster rocket operated by launch operator ILS from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.