07 May 2010
New-generation military communications satellite and ground segment designed to meet the new Defence and Security requirements of Italy and France
Rome, May 7, 2010 – Thales Alenia Space Italia and Telespazio announced today that they have signed a contract with the Italian Ministry of Defence and the French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA) for the development of the Sicral 2 satellite and ground segment for military communications. The contract is worth about €295m in total, of which €193m relates to Thales Alenia Space and €102m to Telespazio. The contract is likely to commence in early June, shortly after the Framework Loan Agreement with the selected bank is signed. This result was due to the decisive and essential commitment of the Italian ministry of defense, which supported this major project from the outset, along with the French ministry of defense.
Sicral 2 is a joint Italian-French programme based on a geostationary satellite operating in the UHF and SHF bands. It will enhance the “milsatcom” capabilities already offered by Italy’s Sicral 1 and Sicral 1B satellites, and France’s Syracuse System.
The Sicral 2 Programme will primarily support satellite communications for the two countries’ armed forces, and is designed to meet the needs expected to develop in the near future. Like its predecessors, the new satellite and ground segment will provide strategic and tactical communications links for both domestic operations and foreign deployments. It supports all military, terrestrial, naval and aerial platforms, operating in a single integrated network.
The satellite will also ensure additional backup for current SHF-band capacity provided by Syracuse 3 and Sicral 1B intended for NATO communications, it being the system designed for seamless integration with today’s national and allied countries’ infrastructures.
To develop the Sicral 2 Programme, the two companies, Thales Alenia Space Italia (the Space Alliance between Finmeccanica and Thales) and Telespazio, have created a Temporary Group of Companies (TGC) headed by Thales Alenia Space Italia.
Specifically, Thales Alenia Space Italia is responsible for the design of the end-to-end communications system, the space segment, the design and assembly of the satellite, the design, development and assembly of the UHF and SHF payload for the Italian mission, and the architecture of the ground segment. Thales Alenia Space France will design and develop the platform, the SHF payload for the French mission, and the Mission Control Centre in France.
Telespazio is responsible for satellite launch and early orbit services (LEOP – Launch and Early Orbit Phase) and for satellite first In-Orbit Tests (IOT). The company will also manage the building of the system’s ground segment.
“We are very proud to have won the Sicral 2 contract, and of our major role in this French-Italian programme,” said Luigi Pasquali, President and CEO of Thales Alenia Space Italia. “The production of the new Sicral satellite paves the way for enhanced defence collaboration between our countries, and meets the growing demand for faster, more flexible tactical communications. Sicral 2 is a state-of-the-art satellite, reflecting the many years of unstinting focus on industrial excellence at Thales Alenia Space. Furthermore, the cross-border nature of the Sicral 2 mission makes it an ideal project for the Space Alliance formed by Thales Alenia Space and Telespazio, bringing together the complementary skills and expertise of the French and Italian partners."
Sicral 2 is based on a Thales Alenia Space Spacebus 4000 platform. Scheduled for launch in 2013, it will be positioned in geostationary orbit at 37 degrees East and have a design life of 15 years
Telespazio’s CEO Giuseppe Veredice, said: “The wealth of experience of the two companies provides the Space Alliance with a set of truly unique skills that can create end-to-end systems and solutions. Moreover, the Sicral 1B project enables Telespazio to consolidate its role as satellite operator in the defence sector, by taking advantage of part of the satellite capacity obtained in return for its investment in the programme’s funding. This is all thanks to the strong support of the two shareholders, Finmeccanica and Thales, long-term partners of their respective defence ministries and major European players in the defence and security arena.
The Sicral 1 and 1B military communications satellites were wholly produced by Thales Alenia Space Italia and Telespazio, which took charge of the design, production and in-orbit delivery. Thales Alenia Space France produced France’s Syracuse 3 military communications satellites and delivered it in-orbit.
About Thales Alenia Space
The European leader in satellite systems and a major player in orbital infrastructures, Thales Alenia Space is a joint venture between Thales (67%) and Finmeccanica (33%). Thales Alenia Space and Telespazio embody the two groups’ “Space Alliance”. Thales Alenia Space sets the global standard in solutions for space telecommunications, radar and optical Earth observation, defence and security, navigation and science. With consolidated revenues of 2 billion euros in 2009, Thales Alenia Space has 7,200 employees at 11 industrial sites in France, Italy, Spain and Belgium.
Thales Alenia Space Press Contacts
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