Thales Alenia Space to design France’s military satellites communications
French defence procurement agency DGA (Direction Générale de l’Armement) has awarded Thales Alenia Space a design contract to study military space communications capacity to be available by 2019. This study falls within the scope of preparations for the replacement of two Syracuse III satellites built by Thales Alenia Space, and as a complement to the two satellites Sicral 2 and Athena Fidus, also developed by Thales Alenia Space and built in cooperation with Italy.
Building on its unrivaled heritage in space communications for security and defence, Thales Alenia Space will submit to the French Ministry of Defense in the coming months its analysis of the military satellite communications (milsatcom) capacity needed in orbit, acquisition procedures and collaboration schemes. Working with the French and Italian ministries of defence and space agencies, Thales Alenia Space was the industrial partner that enabled the first and still only two collaborative European programmes on space communications for security and defence.
Replacing this capacity entails major challenges: strategic challenges in terms of security and defence, a facet of national sovereignty; operational challenges because of the indispensable nature of milsatcom capacity for foreign deployments of armed forces; and economic challenges, given the context of the economic crisis and budget cuts.
Thales Alenia Space was chosen once again to participate in this major programme because of its proven skills and expertise in the production of communications satellites (operating in the X, Ka and other bands), and the construction of large-scale systems. (DSNS) in Vlissingen, was transferred to the Royal Moroccan Navy.
The delivery of the last ship of a series of three marks the culmination of a period of dedicated and successful partnership with the Royal Moroccan Navy. All three ships were delivered in time, on schedule, meeting all the requirements as stated in the contract to the full satisfaction of the customer.
The delivery of the last of three frigates was achieved within four-and-a-half years from the effective date of contract, after a period of thorough engineering and three years of construction. The first Tarik Ben Zayid was commissioned on September 10, 2011, the second Sultan Moulay Ismail was commissioned on March 10, 2012.
The Damen Shipyards Group offers a complete range of naval and patrol vessels ranging from 7 to over 200 metres. Part of this portfolio are the Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding (DSNS) naval combatants and auxiliaries, embodied by the SIGMA and ENFORCER series.
At present DSNS also has under construction for the Royal Netherlands Navy: four Patrol Ships and a Joint Logistic Support Ship, the largest military vessel built by DSNS so far.