Lockheed wins Vietnam's 168 mln dollar satellite deal
HANOI, May 12 (Reuters) Lockheed Martin Corp. won a 168 million dollar contract from the Vietnamese government to build and launch the country's first telecommunications satellite, state media reported today.
The US firm, which beat Alcatel of France and Japan's Sumitomo Corp. in a tender this week, is scheduled to sign the contract with the state-run Vietnam Posts and Telecommunication Corp today, the Tuoi Tre newspaper reported.
The government has ordered the satellite to be launched on May 23, 2008, three years later than originally planned following extended negotiations on orbital slots.
Industry experts said the satellite, named Vinasat, would help Vietnam save the costs of leasing satellite space and help expand telecoms services and deliver television programs to remote areas.
The satellite is projected to have a 15-year lifespan, up to 30 transponders, each carrying up to six television channels or 500 telephone channels.
REUTERS PDS PM0732