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MDA to be key supplier in satellite servicing demonstration for US Government

October 18, 2012

Richmond, BC - MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (TSX: MDA), a provider of essential information solutions, announced today that it has been selected as a key participant to support the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Phoenix Program.

MDA will provide a variety of servicing technologies and capabilities to the program, under multiple contracts to DARPA and the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL). These contracts will build on MDA’s world leading capabilities from its operations in both Canada and the U.S.

The goal of the DARPA Phoenix Program is to develop and demonstrate technologies to cooperatively repurpose valuable components from retired, nonworking satellites and demonstrate the ability to create new space systems at greatly reduced cost. The mission will use a robotic on-orbit servicer, and components launched alongside commercial satellites.

The program also hopes to transition its developing technologies into sustainable commercial applications, that in turn support U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) needs in the future, and MDA is under contract from DARPA to assist with defining this commercialization plan as well.

“MDA’s heritage of robotics and on-orbit servicing successes are a good match for the DARPA Phoenix program. We look forward to working with DARPA to demonstrate space infrastructure servicing” said Daniel Friedmann, president and CEO of MDA.

Assuming the program proceeds as planned, the overall multi-year program represents a significant opportunity for MDA and a significant step forward for demonstrating certain aspects of on-orbit servicing.

A core element of the program is two primary robotic manipulator arms. MDA is working with the Naval Research Laboratory via DARPA to provide those arms. Assuming all phases of the program are funded, the total scope for that element of the program, which is sole-sourced from MDA, is expected to not exceed $27.2 million.

Beyond the robotic arms themselves, MDA has also been awarded two separate contracts from DARPA that will develop key robotic servicing technologies. These include advanced robotic tools, cameras, tool caddies, and advanced designs for a hyper-dexterous robot.

An important element of the mission concept is the ability to launch components into space frequently and cost effectively, by piggybacking their launch onto a regular commercial satellite launch. MDA is under contract from DARPA to design and prototype the delivery system in which the components are sent to orbit (called PODS).

Phase 1 of the program is under contract now and MDA’s scope (not including the sole-sourced robotics arms) is approximately $2.6 million, which is expected to grow when Phase 2 gets underway next year.

About MDA

MDA provides advanced information solutions that capture and process vast amounts of data, produce essential information, and improve the decision making and operational performance of business and government organizations worldwide.

Focused on markets and customers with strong repeat business potential, MDA delivers a broad spectrum of information solutions, ranging from complex operational systems, to tailored information services, to electronic information products.

The Company's common shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol TSX:MDA.

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Forward-Looking Statements
This release may contain forward-looking statements and information, which reflect the current view of MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (“MDA” or the “Company”) with respect to future events and financial performance. The forward-looking statements in this regard include statements regarding the success of a series of complex robotic solutions. Any such forward-looking statements are based on MDA’s current expectations, estimates, projections and assumptions in light of its experience and its perception of historical trends. The factors and assumptions underlying the forward-looking statements in this release include the continued success of the robotic solutions. Any such forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations. MDA cautions readers that should certain risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary significantly from those expected. The risks that could cause actual results to differ from current expectations include changes in government priorities, funding levels, contracts and regulations; failure of third parties and subcontractors; and failure of systems to meet performance requirements.

For additional information with respect to certain of these risks or factors, plus additional risks or factors, reference should be made to the Company’s continuous disclosure materials filed from time to time with Canadian securities regulatory authorities, which are available online at or on the Company’s website at

The Toronto Stock Exchange has neither approved nor disapproved the form or content of this release.

Wendy Keyzer

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