Airbus has partnered with Telespazio to sell military telecommunications services using the Syracuse IV satellites to help armed and security forces in Europe and globally.

Through the partnership, Airbus aims to create a private military satellite telecommunications operator in France.

Telespazio is a spaceflight services company jointly owned by Leonardo and Thales Group.

Under a financing agreement between the French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA), Airbus, Thales Alenia Space and Telespazio, excess satellite capacity will be marketed to third-party customers.

This will allow the companies to reduce the cost of ownership of the Syracuse IV telecommunication system.

Under the potential ten-year sales contract agreements, allied countries will be provided access to a strategic resource.

Airbus Defence and Space Intelligence & Security Engineering Communications head Eric Souleres said: “Airbus is capitalising on the unique experience of satellite services for the armed forces to enhance its range with a system equipped with the most advanced space and terrestrial telecommunication technologies.”

In addition to the satellite capacity, Airbus and Telespazio intend to provide value-added services such as anchor capacity and end-to-end services, including engineering and maintenance support.

Customers will be able to access the services over an area ranging from French Guiana to the Straits of Malacca.

The partners will provide access to communication capacity in multiple modes, including X-band, military Ka-band and X/Ka dual-band.

The communication capacity will allow field units to exchange video, voice and data via IP-based communications.

Telespazio Group deputy CEO Jean-Marc Gardin said: “Building on its expertise in the field, Telespazio is proud to consolidate its role as a trusted operator of French military telecommunications satellites and contribute to an innovative operation which will round out its world-class range of government capacity services.”

Syracuse IV comprises two military satellites, Syracuse 4A and 4B, planned for launch in 2022. The telecommunication system also consists of ground stations to provide forces with communications capability in the operational areas.

A consortium comprising Thales Alenia Space and Airbus is building the two geostationary satellites.

A third satellite will be added in around 2030 to meet growing connectivity demand, particularly the requirements of manned aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles.

These future satellites will be able to carry X and Ka-band military payload. Additionally, the satellites will offer protection against cyber attacks, jamming and electromagnetic pulse-type threats.