Thales Alenia Space secured a design contract with the DGA (Direction Générale de l'Armement,) the French defense procurement agency. The Cannes, France-based satellite manufacturer will be studying future military satellite communications capacity set to enter service in 2019 on behalf of the French Ministry of Defense.
The DGA-sponsored study will fit into the plan to replace the two Syracuse III satellites that Thales Alenia Space built and operated. The study will also complement the Sicral 2 and Athena Fidus satellites developed and built by Thales Alenia Space and Italy in a cooperative venture.
Thales Alenia Space will analyze the French military's future needs for satellite communications (MILSATCOM) capacity. It will aso pore over acquisition procedures and collaboration schemes that will hasten development, ensure efficiency, and save money for all participants.
As the industrial partner of the French and Italian ministries of defense and space agencies, Thales Alenia Space helped create the first two -and, so far, the only two- collaborative European programs on space communications for security and defense.
The satellite manufacturer will face significant issues throughout the course of replacing existing satellite communications capacity. Thales Alenia Space must ensure strategic security, ensure the delivery of critical MILSATCOM capacity when its partner nations deploy their armed forces on foreign soil, and accomplish all of this within a budget limited by the ongoing economic crisis.