Iridium on Track for Iridium NEXT With Completion of System Control Segment, Launch and Early Operations Center

MCLEAN, Va., Aug. 27, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Iridium Communications Inc. (Nasdaq:IRDM) today announced the successful upgrade of its System Control Segment (SCS) and completion of its Launch and Early Operations (LEOP) control center for Iridium NEXT, the largest new commercial satellite constellation in the world.

Iridium NEXT Mission Team partner L-3 Telemetry-West (L-3 TW) played a key role in the upgrade project with their InControl™ software suite. InControl is providing the core satellite command and control functions allowing Iridium NEXT satellites to be efficiently controlled through automation, an extensive application programming interface (API), and a user-centric fleet management design.

The overall development of the SCS is performed by The Boeing Company, which is a long-time Iridium operations partner. Boeing will continue operating the constellation through its transition to Iridium NEXT and beyond as the company's operations and maintenance provider.

"Our team has been working side by side with Iridium and Boeing to develop the technical capabilities to support Iridium NEXT," said Jim Presnell Vice President of Engineering at L-3 TW. "This is a significant accomplishment on the road to launch Iridium NEXT, and we're proud to be a part of the continued success."

The completion of the buildout for the LEOP control center marks another significant milestone toward the launch of Iridium NEXT. In the LEOP facility, the Iridium NEXT satellites will be managed after separation from the launch vehicle, tested to ensure on-orbit functionality, and then maneuvered and monitored while they are transferred into the mission constellation. The new facility was strategically co-located with the Iridium Mission Control Center to create a cohesive site for operations, enabling greater efficiencies and providing synergy across the teams for a seamless transition to the core Iridium mission.

"With the SCS upgrade and completion of the LEOP control facility, we've passed two huge launch milestones and are now operationally ready for the launch of Iridium NEXT," said Scott Smith, chief operating officer, Iridium Communications Inc. "L-3 TW and Boeing have done an outstanding job making this possible. Together, we've built the infrastructure that will be operating the satellites from launch through the entire Iridium NEXT mission."

The Iridium NEXT satellite network will consist of 66 in-orbit satellites and a number of in-orbit spares. The constellation is expected to begin launching in 2015 and will offer greater bandwidth and data speeds when fully operational in 2017.

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.

About L-3 Telemetry-West

L-3 Telemetry-West (L-3 TW), a division of L-3 Communications, is a premier provider of flight hardware and systems solutions for telemetry, tracking, command & control; flight termination; and secure mission data transmission in the satellite, launch vehicle, weapons, aircraft and UAV markets. L-3 TW products are utilized across a uniquely diverse applications set, including spacecraft command and control, on-orbit operations, launch support and monitoring, missile defense, flight testing, weapons test and development, surveillance and detection, and general-purpose data acquisition. To learn more about L-3 TW, please visit the company's website at www.L-3com.com/TW.

Headquartered in New York City, L-3 Communications employs approximately 48,000 people worldwide and is a prime contractor in aerospace systems and national security solutions. L-3 is also a leading provider of a broad range of communication and electronic systems and products used on military and commercial platforms. The company reported 2013 sales of $12.6 billion. To learn more about L-3, please visit the company's website at www.L-3com.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. 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, 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-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2014, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission ("the SEC") on May 1, 2014, 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: Ashley Eames Iridium Communications Inc. +1 (703) 287-7476 ashley.eames@iridium.com

Source:Iridium Communications Inc.