Thales Alenia Space and Telespazio, joint ventures of Italian aerospace defense contractor Leonardo and French aerospace defense contractor Thales Group, have won a follow-on contract to continue developing satellite communications and related ground systems for the Italy’s Ministry of Defense (MoD), the companies recently announced.
Under the follow-on contract, the companies will continue working with the MoD to develop the Italian System for Secure Communications and Alerts (SICRAL) 3 satcom system and associated ground segment. The two companies have previously collaborated on three satellites for the SICRAL system, although one is no longer operational.
Thales Alenia Space and Telespazio were awarded a contract for 159 million euros ($193 million) in June 2021 to develop the two-satellite program, with plans to launch the first satellite by 2026. The new satellites will continue the SHF- and UHF-band signals provided by the SICRAL constellation for secure military communications while adding a new Ka-band payload.
“This contract confirms the enormous importance of the space sector for the MoD and reflects the extremely high standard set by Italian industry represented today by the Space Alliance,” said Lieutenant General Engineer Angelo Gervasio, director of TELEDIFE, the MoD’s telecommunications organization in a statement. “Italian industry has largely proven its ability not only to produce systems able to meet complex national defense needs, but also to affirm its position in the fiercely competitive international market.”
Work within the temporary consortium will be split, with Thales Alenia Space designated as the agent company and Telespazio as the prime contractor. Thales will build out and integrate the two geostationary satellites, with Leonardo supplying star sensors for situational awareness. Telespazio will build out the ground segment.
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