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ATLAS II SUCCESSFULLY LAUNCHES USAF COMMUNICATIONS SATELLITE

 CAPE CANAVERAL AFS, Fla., July 19 /PRNewswire/ -- A U.S. Air Force/General Dynamics Atlas II successfully launched a Defense Satellite Communications Systems III payload into orbit from Launch Complex 36A today.
 Designated AC-104, the mission was the third successful Atlas II flight in the Air Force's Medium Launch Vehicle II program as well as the return to launch for General Dynamics after a major anomaly during the Atlas/UHF mission last March.
 "The combined Air Force and General Dynamics launch team share the success of this important event as we return Atlas to flight and accomplish an important milestone for the DSCS program," said Michael W. Wynne, president of General Dynamics' Space Systems Division. "This is the first in a long string of successful launches we intend to rack up as we re-establish the reliability and quality record of our Atlas vehicle."
 AC-104 placed the DSCS III payload into geosynchronous transfer orbit. This satellite completes the first constellation of the more capable DSCS III. The first two DSCS III spacecrafts were launched by Atlas in 1992. DSCS provides secure voice, high-data rate and super high frequency communications for the Department of Defense, State Department and other U.S. government agencies.
 Atlas II, the second in the series of four launch vehicles making up the Atlas family, is an uprated Atlas I capable of lifting payloads in the 6,000-pound payload class.
 General Dynamics' Atlas has a backlog of 30 launch commitments through the 1990s, including 22 commercial and eight Air Force launches. Atlas and Centaur production takes place at Space Systems facilities in San Diego, Harlingen, Texas, and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
 -0- 7/19/93
 /CONTACT: Julie C. Andrews of General Dynamics, 407-730-5300 or 407-783-9222/


CO: General Dynamics ST: Florida, California IN: ARO SU:

LM-JL -- SD007 -- 3316 07/19/93 19:20 EDT
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Date:Jul 19, 1993
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