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CLAIRCOM AWARDS HUGHES $117 MILLION CONTRACT FOR AIRONE(SM) TELEPHONES AND EQUIPMENT

 GERMANTOWN, Md., Sept. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- C. Michael Armstrong, chairman of GM Hughes Electronics, today announced that Hughes Network Systems, Inc. (HNS) has been selected by Seattle-based Claircom Communications to provide 200,000 seatback- and armrest-mounted telephone units, as well as the airborne radio systems, to service Claircom's customers in the airline industry. The contract is valued at over $117 million.
 The order follows American Airlines' recent decision to outfit its entire fleet of domestic and international jetliners with Claircom's AirOne(SM) air-to-ground communications services. The American contract, encompassing more than 650 aircraft, was the fifth major win for Claircom, following earlier orders from Northwest, Alaska Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and Air France. A similar pact was signed with Global Wulfsberg to provide the service to private business aircraft. In total, more than 1,500 commercial aircraft are now slated to be outfitted with the AirOne System.
 For its part, HNS will manufacture approximately 100,000 seatback phone units, 100,000 armrest-mounted units, and over 1,200 radio systems to meet the requirements of these contracts. The units will be manufactured at HNS's modern San Diego facility, a plan already equipped for the manufacture of Hughes' dual-mode cellular car phones. All 200,000 units are slated for delivery in 1994.
 From the outset, HNS and Claircom have worked together on the design, engineering, and manufacture of the AirOne network, which features ground stations located throughout North America.
 AirOne is based on a fully digital communications platform that permits a wide range of passenger services, including phone, facsimile, data communications, seat-to-seat messaging, live radio broadcasts, and video entertainment. The advanced technology will also permit passengers to receive -- as well as send -- calls while in-flight.
 Said Jack Shaw, chairman and CEO of HNS: "We are pleased to be part of this exciting venture, as air-to-ground technology reaches beyond analog limitations and opens the door to a whole range of digital capabilities including fax, video and data transmission. As a leader in digital telecommunications, Hughes Network Systems is fully prepared to support Claircom with high-quality, reliable passenger units."
 "Hughes Network Systems has been a very important part of Claircom from the beginning," said Claircom President Keith Grinstein. "Within the Hughes family of businesses, we have found a unique ability to provide engineering and manufacturing solutions that are key to our development of AirOne."
 Claircom Communications is jointly owned by McCaw Cellular Communications and HNS. McCaw operates the ground network and HNS produces the airborne equipment. Through an extensive, long-term agreement, AT&T serves as a technology partner in Claircom, offering access to its worldwide, intelligent network.
 Hughes Network Systems is the premier provider of interactive VSATs, with network solutions that include a range of satellite communications products for data, voice, and video. In addition, HNS features a complete line of X.25 packet switching and Frame Relay solutions, as well as digital cellular networking for high capacity wireless telephone systems.
 Headquartered near Washington, HNS is a subsidiary of Hughes Aircraft Company, a unit of GM Hughes Electronics. Earnings of GM Hughes are used to calculate the earnings per share of General Motors Class H common stock (NYSE: GMH).
 -0- 9/23/93
 /CONTACT: Judy Blake, 301-428-7113, or Alison Welles Snowden, 301-428-7111, fax, 301-428-2818/
 (GMH)


CO: Hughes Network Systems; Claircom Communications ST: Maryland IN: TLS SU: CON

IH-DS -- DC005 -- 5079 09/23/93 09:36 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 23, 1993
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