Thales Ale­nia Space to de­sign France’s mil­i­tary satel­lites com­mu­ni­ca­tions

SP's MAI - - MILITARY -

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.

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