Lockheed to build and launch 2nd telecoms satellite for Vietnam (VNPT)

New satellite to be launched by May 2012 (Updates with contract value, details)

HANOI, May 11 (Reuters) – U.S. aerospace firm Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N) has signed a $ 215 million contract to manufacture and launch a second telecommunications satellite for Vietnam, the country’s top telecoms group, VNPT, said on Tuesday.

The contract is part of a larger project in which Vietnam would invest between $ 280 million and $ 300 million in order to launch the satellite into orbit by May 2012.

In April 2008, Vietnam launched its first telecoms satellite, the $ 200 million VINASAT 1 built by Lockheed Martin, from French Guiana to reduce reliance on the leasing of foreign satellites and meet rising demand for telecoms services.

Up to 80 percent capacity of VINASAT 1 has now been used, and VNPT projected VINASAT 1 to be fully utilised by the end of 2011.

The new satellite, able to provide services such as television, voice and high-speed data with a 15-year life span.

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