In the Spotlight

Sicral 2 launch a success!

In the Spotlight

Sicral 2 launch a success!

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    The Sicral 2 military communications satellite was successfully launched on April 26th 2015, by Arianespace, using an Ariane 5 launcher. The launch was operated from the Guyana space center. The satellite, flying the Space Alliance's colors, was built by Thales Alenia Space and Telespazio.

    About Sicral 2:

    Sicral 2 is a joint program between the Ministry of Defense in Italy and DGA (Direction Générale de l’Armement), in France for the benefit of Italian and French armed forces, with respective stakes of 62% and 38%. Sicral 2 offers unprecedented flexibility and versatility. It will ensure interoperability with existing satellite systems, NATO traffic terminals and current national telecommunications networks. Sicral 2 is a technology jewel, reflecting the sum total of French and Italian expertise in military communications. It will provide strategic and tactical satellite communications services, supporting military land, sea and air platforms used by Armed Forces to garantee safety and security internal and external.

    The Sicral 2 mission

    The satellite weights 4360Kg with a power of 7KW. It will host the most technologically advanced equipment dedicated to an UHF and SHF payload for the Italian mission, a SHF payload for the French mission as well as a payload for remote control, Telemetry and Ranging with use of Expanded Spectrum modulations.

    Thales Alenia Space's contribution

    Thales Alenia Space is the main industrial partner in this program. In particular, it was responsible for the design of the entire Sicral 2 system, along with development, integration and testing (AIT) of the satellite at its satellite integration centers in Rome, Turin and Cannes. The company is also responsible for the ground segment architecture, and it designed, developed and integrated the Mission Control Centers; Thales Alenia Space France played a similar role, integrating the French Mission Control Center into the Syracuse infrastructure.

    Telespazio's contribution

    For the Sicral 2 ground segment, Telespazio was in charge of the design, implementation, integration and testing of the Satellite Control Center, including the main system at the Control Center in Vigna di Valle (Rome), and the backup system at the Space Center in Fucino (L’Aquila). Moreover, the company is responsible for the interconnection system between the Italian and French mission centers. It managed Sicral 2 launch service from the European Spaceport in French Guiana, including the LEOP (Launch Early Orbit Phase) and IOT (In Orbit Tests) phases. Telespazio contributed funding for the development of Sicral 1B and Sicral 2 missions, therefore entitling it to part of the transmission capacity of these satellites and provides communications services to the armed forces of NATO countries.

    Thales Alenia Space, a proven track record in defense applications

    Thales Alenia Space, a proven track record in defense applications:

    • Prime contractor and exclusive supplier of France's spaceborne military telecommunications systems for the last 30 years (Syracuse 1, 2, 3).
    • Industrial partner in the first European (French-Italian) collaboration on military and dual space telecommunications (Sicral 2, Athena-Fidus).
    • Prime contractor for all very-high-resolution instruments on French intelligence satellites (Helios, Pleiades and CSO families).
    • Prime contractor for the Spirale early warning satellites.
    • In charge of the ground segments on the EGNOS and Galileo satellite navigation systems (security and signal integrity).
    • The world leader in space altimetry (indispensable for France's submarine force).
    • A leading player in export markets for defense and dual system applications (SAR Lupe, Comsat BW, Yahsat 1A and 1B, Koreasat 5, Star One C1 and C2).

    All payloads on French and Italian defense satellites are built by Thales (telecommunications, observation, intelligence, early warning, altimetry).

    Regarding the Sicral 2 launch, Jean Loïc Galle, President and CEO of Thales Alenia Space said:

    "The launch of the Sicral 2 satellite marks another major step forward in the successful French-Italian collaboration on space programs. Our teamwork, the most dynamic in Europe, enables the two countries to jointly develop defense-oriented satellite capacity that supports each country's independence. Thales Alenia Space is proud of its major role in this dynamic performance, with the Cosmo-SkyMed, Pleiades and Helios 2 intelligence programs, and the Athena-Fidus and Sicral telecom programs."