Thales Alenia Space welcomes French Secretary of State for Transport Jean-Baptiste Djebbari to its plant in Rome

A high-tech center developing space solutions to meet people’s needs on Earth

Rome, June 16, 2020 - Thales Alenia Space, the joint venture between Thales (67%) and Leonardo (33%), today welcomed Jean-Baptiste Djebbari, French Secretary of State for Transport attached to the Minister for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition, to its plant in Rome, Italy.

Jean-Baptiste Djebbari and a delegation of senior government officials were welcomed by Massimo Comparini, Senior Executive Vice President, Observation, Exploration and Navigation Business Line, and CEO of Thales Alenia Space in Italy. The delegation visited the Satellite Integration Center and the Antenna and Equipment Center, two units at the heart of communications, navigation and Earth observation satellite development, integration, assembly and test (AIT). Given today’s daunting challenges in the current uncertain context, satellites play an even more important role in Society, for example by monitoring climate change, managing road traffic and providing geolocation services. Part of the Space Alliance, a strategic partnership between Leonardo and Thales, Thales Alenia Space develops state-of-art solutions and products to address and anticipate these constantly changing needs.   

Thales Alenia Space has risen to the challenge of the Covid-19 pandemic by maintaining critical operations to meet customer deadlines, while strictly complying with all health and sanitary rules in synergy with the entire space ecosystem. Industrial operations have been gradually ramped-up, and will be back to nominal by July 1st .

Mr. Djebarri visited the main production lines at Thales Alenia Space‘s Rome plant, which features some 4,000 square meters (43,200 sq ft) of state-of-the-art clean rooms. These innovative facilities include reconfigurable areas to support autonomous and efficient production, based on Lean precepts and real-time feedback. Satellites and components are assembled and tested at the Satellite Integration Center, which is capable of simulating the extreme conditions of space. Thales Alenia Space is one of the most relevant industries in the space sector in Italy, contributing to the main national and European programmes.

Thales Alenia Space in Rome deploys its cutting-edge technologies to develop the Sentinel series of satellites, built for the European Space Agency as part of the European Union’s vast environmental monitoring program, Copernicus. Thales Alenia Space is prime contractor for the Sentinel-1 and -3 families, comprising four satellites each. Data from the Sentinel 1A and 1B satellites facilitated our understanding of the situation during the Covid-19 crisis in Italy by tracking its development and supporting planning for future economic activities. Thales Alenia Space is also in charge of the image ground segment for Sentinel-2 and contributes to the imaging spectrometer for Sentinel-5P, as well as providing the Poseidon-4 radar altimeter for the Jason-CS/Sentinel-6 mission.

The Satellite Integration Center in Rome is currently working on the second generation of COSMO-SkyMed Earth observation satellites, which play a crucial role in territorial monitoring. In recent months, these satellites have helped us understand how economic activities have been impacted by the spread of the virus.  

Thales Alenia Space also plays a strategic role in Europe’s overall space strategy. Through the Sicral military communications satellite, operated in partnership with the Athena Fidus mission, it has been heavily involved in joint French-Italian programs to provide military and dual (civil-defense) spaceborne capabilities – the first concrete collaboration of this type in Europe.

Thales Alenia Space has been a key contributor to Europe’s emblematic Galileo satellite navigation program since the outset, from In Orbit Validation (IOV) to Full Operational Capability (FOC). In addition to leading the Galileo system contract, the company provides key space segment components (navigation signal generation units and navigation antennas) and developed the Ground Mission Segment. Everybody at Thales Alenia Space is now fully mobilized,along with ESA, the European Commission and the European Navigation Agency (GSA) to enable new navigation capabilities that will benefit all citizens. Flag ships programs like Copernicus, COSMO-SkyMed, Sicral and Galileo also see important contributions from Leonardo and Telespazio.

"This visit confirms the importance of collaboration between France and Italy, at both government and industry level, with strong support by the countries’ space agencies, CNES and ASI, respectively. Mr. Djebbari concluded his visit by saying, “Thales Alenia Space’s production facilities in Rome I just visited are an iconic example within the aerospace sector of the excellence of the industrial cooperation between Italy and France. Thales Alenia Space successfully provides a full range of satellites instrumental to strengthen our common resilience be it for Earth observation or day-to-day management of transport systems. I believe we need to further support cross-border innovation and partnership and to promote a transport industrial policy at the European level that better support our operators in the globalized world

 Thales Alenia Space Italy CEO Massimo Comparini added: “We are deeply honored because today’s visit marks a return to normalcy. With a significant footprint in Italy, Thales Alenia Space is one of the driving forces for Italy’s economy and recovery from Covid. We strive to be an example of resilience, as well as assume our responsibilities to the space industry in Italy and all of Europe. 

"Our French and Italian units, respectively 4,000 and 2,200 people strong, continue to team up to keep European industry at the forefront of innovation and develop tomorrow’s space technologies to ensure a more sustainable life on Earth and in Space" concluded Hervé Derrey, CEO of Thales Alenia Space.

 

ABOUT THALES ALENIA SPACE
Drawing on over 40 years of experience and a unique combination of skills, expertise and cultures, Thales Alenia Space delivers cost-effective solutions for telecommunications, navigation, Earth observation, environmental management, exploration, science and orbital infrastructures. Governments and private industry alike count on Thales Alenia Space to design satellite-based systems that provide anytime, anywhere connections and positioning, monitor our planet, enhance management of its resources, and explore our Solar System and beyond. Thales Alenia Space sees space as a new horizon, helping to build a better, more sustainable life on Earth. A joint venture between Thales (67%) and Leonardo (33%), Thales Alenia Space also teams up with Telespazio to form the parent companies’ Space Alliance, which offers a complete range of services. Thales Alenia Space posted consolidated revenues of approximately 2.15 billion euros in 2019 and has around 7,700 employees in nine countries. www.thalesaleniaspace.com

 

THALES ALENIA SPACE – PRESS CONTACTS

Sandrine Bielecki    Tel: +33 (0)4 92 92 70 94    sandrine.bielecki@thalesaleniaspace.com
Catherine des Arcis    Tel: +33 (0)4 92 92 72 82    catherine.desarcis@thalesaleniaspace.com
Marija Kovac        Tel: +39 (0)6 415 126 85      marija.kovacsomministrato@thalesaleniaspace.com