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French armed forces boost their secure, high-throughput satcom capabilities with Thales technologies

  • The French defence procurement agency (DGA) has awarded Thales a major contract to design and build the ground segment for the next-generation Syracuse 4 satellite communication system for the French armed forces.
  • From 2023, the armed forces will benefit from interoperable communication capabilities with improved throughput, availability, threat protection and end-to-end connectivity.
  • This contract will enable French armed forces to meet their initial strategic capability objectives for the Scorpion vehicle programme, the Charles De Gaulle aircraft carrier and the Rafale combat aircraft.

An instrument of national power, space is strategically important for the defence authorities: military satellite capabilities enable forces to operate independently, with greater precision and with the highest levels of security. With the development of expeditionary missions and a growing operational need for advanced in-theatre communications, commanders and deployed forces on the move must be able to access and share information quickly. For urgent interventions and broader operations, forces need end-to-end, high-throughput mobile communication systems that are protected and secure with 24/7 operation and a high level of availability.

Syracuse 4 will benefit from Thales’s expertise in satellite communication systems, which the company has built up as a technology orchestrator and integrator in France and internationally. It will rely on the System21 highly secure transmission system to guarantee the availability and confidentiality of all communications and protection against jamming, interference, interception, detection and cyberattacks. As Thales Alenia Space will participate in the design of the ground segment, it will be responsible for the management of the mission and will enable the consistency of this kind of management in the frame of the onboard and ground contract for Syracuse 4 program.

As prime contractor for the Syracuse 3 ground segment since 2004, Thales has deployed over 1,000 satcom stations worldwide and is a NATO approved supplier with its System21 protected and secure transmission system.

“The French armed forces will have significantly enhanced satellite communication capabilities, with secure high-throughput solutions that are interoperable with other communication systems. A large number of land and naval platforms will be benefit from the Syracuse 4 programme, which will also be an important step forward for France’s air component.” Marc Darmon, Executive Vice-President, Secure Communications & Information Systems, Thales

*Système de RAdioCommunication Utilisant un SatelliteE / satellite-based radiocommunication system