MDA announces successful launch of Canada's DND Sapphire satellite

RICHMOND, BC, Feb. 25, 2013 /CNW/ - MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. ("MDA" or "the Company") (TSX: MDA), a provider of essential information solutions, announced today that the Sapphire satellite developed by MDA for Canada's Department of National Defence (DND) has been launched into its proper orbit, and communication with the satellite has been established. The satellite was launched out of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota, India on February 25, 2013 at 4:26 a.m. PST.

Canada's Sapphire is the Department of National Defence's first dedicated operational military satellite. This space-based electro-optical sensor will track man-made space objects in Earth's orbit between 6,000 and 40,000 km in altitude, as part of Canada's continued support of Space Situational Awareness. Data from the Sapphire satellite will contribute to the U.S. Space Surveillance Network, enhancing the ability of both countries to detect and avoid the collision of critical space platforms with other satellites or pieces of debris.

Daniel Friedmann, MDA's president and CEO said, "We are very pleased to see the Sapphire satellite successfully launched. This is MDA's first solution for the growing space surveillance market. Studies have shown that with increases in space debris, and the threat to the systems and services growing, space-based space surveillance will become more and more crucial to provide collision avoidance capabilities and prevent system and service loss."

MDA will also operate and maintain the Sapphire System for five years following system commissioning, expected approximately three months from deployment. The Company's responsibilities include relaying assigned taskings from DND to the satellite, processing the collected information, and sending the data to the Sensor System Operations Centre (SSOC) operated by DND at 22 Wing in North Bay, Ontario. Upon receipt of the processed data, the SSOC will correlate, identify, archive and transmit the information to the United States' Joint Space Operations Center (JSpOC).

MDA is the prime contractor for the Sapphire program. The Sapphire contractor team includes Terma A/S of Herlev, Denmark, COM DEV International of Cambridge, Ontario, and Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. of Surrey, England. The launch provider is Antrix Corporation Ltd. of Sriharikota, India.

About MDA
MDA is a global communications and information company providing operational solutions to commercial and government organizations worldwide.

MDA's business is focused on markets and customers with strong repeat business potential. In addition the Company conducts a significant amount of advanced technology development.

MDA's well-established global customer base is served by more than 4,500 employees operating from 11 offices located in the United States, Canada, and internationally.

The Company's common shares trade under the symbol TSX:MDA.

About Terma
Terma develops products and systems for defense, non-defense, and security applications, including command and control systems, radar systems, self-protection systems for ships and aircraft, space technology, and advanced aerostructures for the international aircraft industry. The company, headquartered at Aarhus, Denmark, has a total staff of 1,100 and realized 2011 revenues of USD 248 million, and maintains international subsidiaries and operations in The Netherlands, Germany, Singapore, and in the U.S.

About COM DEV
COM DEV International Ltd. (www.comdevintl.com) is a leading global provider of space hardware and services. The company has a staff of 1,300, annual revenues of $208 million, and facilities in Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States. COM DEV designs, manufactures, and integrates advanced products, subsystems and microsatellites that are sold to major satellite prime contractors, government agencies and satellite operators, for use in communications, space science, remote sensing and defense applications. The company has won contracts to supply its equipment on over 900 spacecraft. COM DEV's majority-owned subsidiary, exactEarth Ltd., provides satellite data services for global maritime surveillance.

About SSTL
Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL) is the world's leading small satellite company, delivering operational space missions for a range of applications including Earth observation, science and communications. The Company designs, manufactures and operates high performance satellites and ground systems for a fraction of the price normally associated with space missions, with 500 staff working on turnkey satellite platforms, space-proven satellite subsystems and optical instruments.

Since 1981 SSTL has built and launched 39 satellites - as well as providing training and development programmes, consultancy services, and mission studies for ESA, NASA, international governments and commercial customers, with its innovative approach that is changing the economics of space. Headquartered in Guildford, UK, SSTL is owned by Astrium BV.

About Antrix
Antrix Corporation Limited is a wholly owned Government of India Company under the administrative control of the Department of Space, Government of India. Antrix Corporation Limited was incorporated as a private limited company owned by Government of India, in September 1992 as a Marketing arm of Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) for promotion and commercial exploitation of space products, technical consultancy services and transfer of technologies developed by ISRO. Another major objective is to facilitate development of space related industrial capabilities in India.

Related Websites:
www.mdacorporation.com
www.terma.com
www.comdevintl.com
www.sstl.co.uk
www.antrix.gov.in

Forward-Looking Statements
This news release contains forward-looking statements and information, which reflect the current view of MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. ("MDA" or the "Company") with respect to future events and financial performance.  When used in this news release, the words "believes", "expects", "plans", "may", "will", "would", "could", "should", "anticipates", "estimates", "project", "intend" or "outlook" or other variations of these words or other similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements and information. Actual results may differ materially from the expectations expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements as a result of known and unknown risks and uncertainties. Known risks and uncertainties include but are not limited to: risks associated with operating satellites and providing satellite services, including satellite construction or launch delays, launch failures, in-orbit failures or impaired satellite performance; risks associated with satellite manufacturing, including competition, cyclicality of MDA's end-user markets, contractual risks, creditworthiness of customers, performance of suppliers and management of MDA's factory and personnel; risk associated with financial factors such as volatility in exchange rates, increases in interest rates, restrictions on access to capital, and swings in global financial markets; risks associated with domestic and foreign government regulation, including export controls and economic sanctions; and other risks, including litigation. The foregoing list of important factors is not exhaustive. The information contained in this news release reflects MDA's beliefs, assumptions, intentions, plans and expectations as of the date of this news release. Except as required by law, MDA disclaims any obligation or undertaking to update or revise the information herein.

For additional information with respect to certain of these risks or factors, plus additional risks or factors, reference should be made to the Company's continuous disclosure materials filed from time to time with Canadian securities regulatory authorities, which are available online under the Company's profile at www.sedar.com or on the Company's website at www.mdacorporation.com.

The Toronto Stock Exchange has neither approved nor disapproved the form or content of this release.

 

SOURCE MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd.



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