Iridium Communications Inc.
Apr 27, 2015

Iridium Announces Dnepr Rocket Qualification Dispenser Completion

Significant Milestone Met in Preparation for First Iridium NEXT Launch

MCLEAN, Va., April 27, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Iridium Communications Inc. (Nasdaq:IRDM) today announced production is complete of the qualification dispenser for the Iridium NEXT constellation's initial launch, which will be conducted by ISC Kosmotras from the Yasny launch site in Russia using a Dnepr rocket, and qualification testing is on-track for completion in June 2015. Dispensers are specially-developed assemblies that hold the satellites to the rocket during launch and then manage the critically timed separation of each satellite from the rocket once successfully in orbit.

Dispenser qualification includes static load testing, shock testing, separation testing, vibration testing and interface testing. Overall, the tests ensure the dispenser will withstand the launch shock environment and test separation dynamics, fundamental frequency and structural integrity. The testing is being conducted for Iridium by Yuzhnoye State Design Office and Yuzhny Machine Building Plant (Yuzhmash) of Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine, which are subcontractors of ISC Kosmotras. Iridium and Thales Alenia Space of France and Italy also worked closely with Yuzhnoye and Yuzhmash on the design and development of the dispenser.

"Completion of the dispenser confirms rocket readiness—another critical step toward the launch of our first satellites," said Scott Smith, chief operating officer, Iridium.

"Iridium NEXT represents the largest payload in terms of volume and mass that we've handled, so we are especially proud to be completing this important mechanism," said Alexander Serkin, chief executive officer, ISC Kosmotras. "This takes us one step closer to being launch ready."

The Iridium NEXT satellite network will consist of 66 in-orbit satellites and a number of in-orbit spares. The constellation is scheduled to begin launching in 2015 with the first launch of two satellites conducted by ISC Kosmotras on the Dnepr rocket. Seven subsequent launches of ten satellites each will be conducted by SpaceX on the Falcon 9 rocket, completing the full network in late 2017.

Iridium NEXT will serve as the platform for AireonSM, an important new global aircraft surveillance system using space-based ADS-B, as well as Iridium PRIMESM, a turnkey solution for hosted payloads that will offer all elements of a successful hosted payload mission, at an estimated cost savings of 50 percent or more compared to current standalone solutions. In addition, the Iridium NEXT network will enable the recently announced Iridium CertusSM broadband service, which will deliver versatile, enterprise-grade, reliable communications and support a portfolio of partner products with a broad range of data speeds eventually as high as 1.4 megabits per second for a single user terminal.

For more information on Iridium NEXT, go to www.iridium.com.

About Iridium Communications Inc.

Iridium® is the only mobile voice and data satellite communications network that spans the entire globe. Iridium enables connections between people, organizations and assets to and from anywhere, in real time. Together with its ecosystem of partner companies, Iridium delivers an innovative and rich portfolio of reliable solutions for markets that require truly global communications. The company has a major development program underway for its next-generation network — Iridium NEXT. Iridium Communications Inc. is headquartered in McLean, Va., U.S.A., and its common stock trades on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the ticker symbol IRDM. For more information about Iridium products, services and partner solutions, visit www.iridium.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

Statements in this press release that are not purely historical facts may constitute forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The Company has based these statements on its current expectations and the information currently available to us. Forward-looking statements in this presentation include statements regarding the development and capabilities of the Iridium NEXT constellation, including the expected Iridium NEXT deployment and launch schedule; and the development and capabilities of Aireon, Iridium PRIME and Iridium Certus. Forward-looking statements can be identified by the words "anticipates," "may," "can," "believes," "expects," "projects," "intends," "likely," "will," "to be" and other expressions that are predictions or indicate future events, trends or prospects. These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of Iridium to differ materially from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, uncertainties regarding Iridium NEXT development and functionality, potential delays in Iridium NEXT deployment or the development of Aireon, Iridium PRIME and Iridium Certus, and the company's ability to maintain the health, capacity and content of its current satellite constellation, as well as general industry and economic conditions, and competitive, legal, governmental and technological factors. Other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by the forward-looking statements include those factors listed under the caption "Risk Factors" in the Company's Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2014, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission ("the SEC") on February 26, 2015, as well as other filings Iridium makes with the SEC from time to time. There is no assurance that Iridium's expectations will be realized. If one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or if Iridium's underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those expected, estimated or projected. Iridium's forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this press release, and Iridium undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements.

CONTACT: Press Contact:

         

         Diane Hockenberry

         Iridium Communications Inc.

         +1 (703) 287-7421

         Diane.hockenberry@iridium.com