Thales Alenia Space and Telespazio have won an award from the Italian Ministry of Defence (MoD) for the SICRAL 3 satellite communications (SATCOM) system.

Both Thales Alenia and Telespazio are joint ventures (JVs) formed between Thales and Leonardo.

The latest contract covers Phase D (development) and is a follow-on to the original award of a complex process that started with initial phases 0/A and later progressed to phases B and C.

Phase D involves component production and integration of subsystems.

The process will include multiple implementation phases, resulting in the SICRAL 3A launch by 2026 and SICRAL 3B launch subsequently.

The Italian system for secure communications and alerts, SICRAL supports various defence missions in both Italy and abroad.

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By GlobalData

It will ensure continuity with existing ultra and super high-frequency band (UHF, SHF) telecom services provided by the SICRAL 1A, 1B and SICRAL 2 satellites.

The new system will also expand the range of services with a new Ka-band payload and support the security, civil protection and public rescue services.

Telespazio CEO and Leonardo space activities coordinator Luigi Pasquali said: “Thanks to SICRAL 3, Italy and Nato can continue to count on safe, effective satellite communications.”

Through the Space Alliance, both companies have formed a temporary consortium to implement the SICRAL programme. Telespazio is the prime contractor and Thales Alenia is the agent company.

Thales Alenia will develop a telecommunications system, as well as undertake the design and integration of the system and space segment, which comprises geostationary satellites SICRAL 3A and 3B.

It will also undertake the design, production and integration of UHF, SHF and Ka-band payloads.

Telespazio will develop the ground segment in conjunction with existing SICRAL infrastructures at the MoD’s Control Centre in Vigna di Valle and the Fucino Space Centre.

Besides, Telespazio will work on the satellites’ launch and early orbit phase and in-orbit testing.