General Dynamics Provides Support For Tonga Satellite
General Dynamics Network Systems, a business unit of General Dynamics [NYSE: GD], will provide satellite engineering and flight-operations services for the first of several commercial communications satellites that Tonga-based Friendly Islands Satellite Communications Ltd. (Tongasat) plans to operate.
Tongasat, the exclusive agent of the Tonga government, last year acquired the satellite from Seattle Scientific Corp. The spacecraft, previously called Parallax, has been renamed ESIAFI-1 and will provide telephone, data and other communications services in the Pacific region.
The ESIAFI-1 satellite has been moved to one of the nine geostationary orbital slots that the International Telecommunication Union has assigned to Tonga. Needham, Mass.-based General Dynamics Network Systems is working under a three-year contract with Tongasat to operate the satellite and provide around-the-clock monitoring.