Orbital Sciences has been awarded a contract by Spanish satellite fleet operator HISPASAT to build two new satellites, Amazonas 4A and Amazonas 4B, which will allow the operator to meet the increasing demand for satellite capacity in Latin America.
According to HISPASAT, the demand for satellite capacity is expected to increase due to major sporting events including the World Cup 2014 and the 2016 Olympics, scheduled to be held in Brazil.
HISPASAT CEO Carlos Espinós said: "Orbital's GEOStar satellites are suited to our requirements in terms of performance, price development schedule."
Based on Orbital's GEOStar line of satellite platforms, the two spacecraft will be injected at the orbital position of 61º west longitude to improve the company's presence in the Americas.
The two satellites, along with Amazonas 3 and HISPASAT 1F, will join the five already launched satellites and are expected to double the operator's in-orbit fleet over the next four years.
HISPASAT said that its investment would exceed €1bn and will enable major returns for Spanish aerospace companies.
Equipped with 24 Ku-band transponder payloads, the Amazonas 4A satellite will offer coverage with performance between 46 and 48.5dBW across South America.
HISPASAT said that the final design of Amazonas 4B was yet to be determined following the market requirements.
Both satellites will be designed, manufactured and tested at Orbital's Dulles facility in Virginia, US and their launch is scheduled to take place in 2014 and 2015.
According to Orbital, Amazonas 4A and 4B are the 34th and 35th geosynchronous-Earth orbit communications satellites ordered by its customers, of which 26 are already launched, with nine others, including the two new Amazonas satellites, in various stages of pre-launch preparations.