The Proton Breeze M launch vehicle has successfully carried Asia Satellite Telecommunications Company’s (AsiaSat) commercial satellite into orbit.

AsiaSat 5 built by Space Systems / Loral will replace AsiaSat 2 satellite at orbital location of 100.5° East.

The International Launch Services built Proton M launch vehicle released the satellite into its geo-transfer orbit nine hours and 15 minutes into the mission.

Space Systems / Loral president and chief operating officer John Celli said the satellite will contribute to AsiaSat’s continuous success and help the satellite operator strengthen and expand its services throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

The 3.7t satellite has an enhanced pan Asian C-band footprint covering 53 countries between Russia and New Zealand, Japan, the Middle East and parts of Africa.

AsiaSat-5 also has two high-power fixed Ku-band beams over East Asia and South Asia, and a steerable Ku beam to address changing market demand in the region.

The satellite will offer advanced services including television broadcast, telephone networks and VSAT networks for broadband multimedia services across the Asia Pacific.

The satellite is based on the Space Systems / Loral 1300 platform and will have a lifespan of 15 years.

The satellite’s solar array has been deployed and the satellite will begin firing its main thruster to start manoeuvring into geosynchronous orbit shortly.