MilSatCom ground segment: our offer is global and unrivalled

Thales is one of the world’s leading suppliers of end-to-end secured satellite communication solutions

  • for ground, sea and air forces,
  • using both civil and military satellites.



The ground segment solution proposed by Thales provides armed forces with long-distance communications capacities. Thales is able to supply all the ground elements necessary for the transmission and reception of information exchanged with the satellite, and the treatment of the data received.

Our solution stands out thanks notably to the maturity and performance of the Thales’s System 21 technology, which enables high-speed and protected transmission of data.  This technology has already been adopted by several NATO countries.

At the end of 2014, Thales signed a contract with Qatar to supply the country’s Armed Forces with a military satellite communications system. The ground segment supplied by Thales will provide Qatari ground and naval forces with a long-range communications capability to enhance national security and protect vital interests.

The contract confirmed the leadership of Thales in the satellite communications domain for armed forces. For more than 20 years, Thales has played a major role in the Syracuse programme in X and EHF bands, and – over the last 10 years - in the emerging Ka band sector through the Yahsat programme.


Ka band: the flexible solution

Our competencies in ground segment Ka band satellite communications are wide-ranging, from network solutions and secured transmissions to the different air, land and sea terminals and the management of the whole system.

The solutions designed for carriers and critical environments represent an unequalled offer in terms of variety, illustrating Thales’s capacity to respond all existing and future contexts and needs:

  • carry-pack soldier terminals,
  • terminals in moving protected vehicles,
  • rapid submarines or interception ships,
  • helicopters,
  • drones.


These terminals are also accompanied by more classical models such as fixed and mobile hubs also deployed on these networks.


High-speed connectivity for military aeronautics

Thales is offering military SATCOM stations in Ka band. Intended for MALE (Medium Altitude, Long Endurance drones and mission or transport aircraft, the mission of this terminal is to transmit information at high speed (10 Mbps class). It is notably capable of retransmitting high-definition video streams, as required by reconnaissance missions.

This terminal, which illustrates Thales’s know-how in the SATCOM domain, is composed of:

  • a carbon antennae, mounted on a high-performance sighting system which ensures ongoing communications, even in tricky flight situations;
  • a new generation miniature box -  to aerospace standards – which controls the sighting system;
  • an RF emitter in Ka band, in solid form, also to aerospace standards;
  • Thales Modem 21 -– in its aeronautic version - which guarantees all exchanges with the ground via satellite in full security against aggressions such as interference and jamming.


Around a dozen of these terminals are currently being delivered by Thales.

Thales has also developed other types of Ka-band aeronautic terminals: low profile electronic scanning for planes, small antennas for helicopters etc. Each of these terminals has specificities linked to the carrier and the mission profile.  


Connectivity on the move thanks to VENUS
At the beginning of the year, The French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA) awarded Thales a contract to supply a further 20 ground terminals as part of the Syracuse III satellite programme.
These VENUS terminals equipped with Thales satcom on-the-move (Satcom OTM) systems enable commanders to stay in touch while on the move in the theatre. The command vehicles communicate via the Syracuse system, which connects them directly to other deployed assets. With Satcom OTM technology, vehicles fitted with satellite antennas can establish and maintain a satellite link whether they are moving or stationary.
The innovative Satcom OTM solution provides higher data rates and overall availability of tactical communications between command levels, whilst also ensuring security and resilience.
The active antenna technology with electronic scanning offers better coverage and availability than previous antenna solutions.
The first terminals were ordered by the DGA in 2009 for an operational emergency in Afghanistan. Users appreciate the performance and dependability of the solution which has demonstrated its efficiency in the field in Mali as well as Afghanistan, in environments where other communication systems were unable to operate.