Inmarsat says launch schedule unaffected by Russia sanctions

by Reuters
Tuesday, 29 April 2014 12:09 GMT

LONDON, April 29 (Reuters) - British satellite operator Inmarsat said the launch programme for its Global Xpress network would not be affected by sanctions against Russia, which builds the rockets that carry them into orbit.

The company's new satellites, made by Boeing, are carried on the Russian Proton Breeze M rockets launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The first Inmarsat satellite for its new faster broadband network was launched in December, and two more are scheduled to launch by the end of 2014.

Inmarsat's Senior Vice President for External Affairs Chris McLaughlin said the company had been advised by the U.S.-based Satellite Industry Association that only launches that boosted Russia's military capabilities would be affected by the sanctions, and Inmarsat did not fit into that category.

"There is no change in the scheduling of the Global Xpress launches," he said.

Shares in Inmarsat had fallen as much as 10 percent on Tuesday on reports that it would be affected by tougher sanctions. They were down 3 percent at 738 pence at 1208 GMT.

(Reporting by Paul Sandle; editing by Kate Holton)

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