Intelsat S.A., a provider of satellite services, and International Launch Services (ILS) announced that an ILS Proton M vehicle successfully launched the Intelsat 22 satellite from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Liftoff occurred at 8:10 AM EDT (18:10 in Baikonur).  After a 15 hour and 30 minute mission, at 11:40 PM EDT, the Breeze M successfully released the Intelsat 22 satellite, weighing 6199 kg, into supersynchronous transfer orbit (SSTO) at a 65,000 km apogee.

Built by Boeing Space & Intelligence Systems, the satellite will provide C- and Ku-Band capacity for media, government and network services customers in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. In addition, Intelsat 22 will host a specialized UHF communications payload for the Australian Defence Force (ADF).

Once operational in May, it will replace Intelsat 709 at 72° East and is expected to have a useful life of approximately 18 years.

“The launch of Intelsat 22 is a significant milestone in many respects, not the least of which is its role in demonstrating the viability of hosted payloads in delivering customized space solutions for government users. On time and on budget, the delivery of the UHF payload for the Australian Defence Force successfully demonstrates how hosted payloads are embraced by governments seeking cost-efficient access to space,” said Intelsat CEO Dave McGlade. 

“In addition, as Intelsat 22 enters service, its customized beams will further progress our global mobility broadband fabric, allowing always-on broadband for ships and planes traversing the world’s busiest transport routes. Intelsat delivers broadband infrastructure everywhere, and the successful launch of Intelsat 22 delivers enhanced satellite capacity for telecommunications leaders in Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Europe, such as the UAE’s Etisalat and Ethio Telecom of Ethiopia.” He continued, “I would like to thank the teams of ILS, Khrunichev, Intelsat and Boeing for their tireless work on Intelsat 22, ensuring a timely launch and precise delivery to orbit for this critical mission.”

ILS President Frank McKenna said, “From contract signing to delivery to orbit, ILS and Khrunichev were squarely focused on launching the Intelsat 22 satellite on schedule and successfully meeting Intelsat’s requirements for this important SSTO mission on ILS Proton. Intelsat is a leader and innovator in the satellite telecommunications industry, having established the first global commercial satellite communications network. It’s a true honor to facilitate Intelsat’s global mobility network with the ILS Proton launch of Intelsat 22, supporting Intelsat’s customers in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East, as well as its hosted payload customer, the Australian Defence Force. We look forward to performing our next mission with Intelsat, the Intelsat 23 satellite later this year.”

This was the first SSTO mission for ILS Proton and it provided an additional 200 kg of performance for this mission. The launch of the Intelsat 22 satellite marks the second ILS Proton launch of the year and the 71st commercial launch overall for ILS. The Proton Breeze M vehicle is built by Khrunichev State Research and Space Production Center of Moscow, one of the pillars of the aerospace industry and majority owner of ILS. Proton has a heritage of 374 missions since its maiden flight in 1965.