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Hughes signs contract for H-IIA launches.

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 25, 1996--Hughes Space and Communications International Inc. (HSCI) of Los Angeles, and Rocket System Corp. (RSC) of Tokyo, Monday signed a contract for 10 launches on RSC's new H-IIA rocket, plus an undisclosed number of options.

"This contract deepens our long-term commitment to support the communications needs of Japan, today and into the 21st century," said Steven D. Dorfman, chairman of Hughes Telecommunications and Space Co., the parent company of HSCI. "For more than 20 years we have teamed with Japanese companies to provide a range of services, including weather data to Asia and the Pacific, business communications, and direct-to-home television services.

"We view each new contract as a continuation of our partnership with Japan."

Financial terms were not disclosed. The 10 launches would take place over a five-year period beginning in the year 2000. HSCI is a unit of Hughes Electronics Corp. RSC is a private company formed with investors from more than 70 Japanese companies to commercially market the H-IIA launch vehicle.

The H-IIA is Japan's newest entry into the intermediate-lift launch vehicle market, designed specifically to carry international commercial payloads to geosynchronous orbit. The launch vehicles will lift off from the Space Center in Tanegashima, Japan. The H-IIA is capable of lifting Hughes' two largest satellite models, the body-stabilized HS 601 and HS 702, which weigh three to five tons at launch.

Noting that the terms of the deal are "very competitive," HSCI Chairman Donald L. Cromer said: "The acquisition of these H-IIA vehicles underscores Hughes' commitment to providing our satellite customers with access to space. I'm proud to include the H-IIA among the international selection of launch vehicles with whom we have long-term agreements."

The contract was signed by Frank A. Taormina, president of HSCI, and T. Yamada, president of RSC, in a ceremony held at HSCI.

"We are honored to sign our first big contract with HSCI as it represents the start of a new era for Japan's space business. We are committed to successful launches with the H-IIA," said Yamada.

The launches will be available to any Hughes Electronics business unit and to customers of Hughes Space and Communications Co., the world's largest manufacturer of commercial communications satellites.

The earnings of Hughes Electronics are used to calculate the earnings per share attributable to GMH (NYSE symbol) common stock.

CONTACT: Hughes, Los Angeles

Diana Ball, 310/364-6363
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Nov 25, 1996
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