Syracuse IV
Syracuse IV is the French Ministry of Defence’s programme for military communications. It consists in two satellites in geostationary orbit (Syracuse 4A, launched in October 2021, and 4B, launched in July 2023) and a number of ground stations.

As part of the programme, the French Directorate General of Armament (DGA) and the collaboration agreement between Telespazio, Airbus and Thales Alenia Space, a joint venture between Thales (67%) and Leonardo (33%), have developed an innovative model for funding the whole project. In addition to ensuring lower prices, the model also allows the sale of excess satellite capacity to third parties.

Trade agreements allow allied countries and organisations to have easy, flexible and reactive access to telecommunications services; they can also strengthen France’s international cooperation agreements in the sectors of defence and security.

Specifically, in this collaboration, Telespazio and Airbus have created France’s first private provider of military satellite communications (MILSATCOM), in order to offer access to the satellite capacity of the Syracuse IV system and access to added-value services that include, for example, the use of Earth stations for specific user needs, end-to-end services, engineering and support activities.

The services will be available in a large area that stretches from French Guyana to the Strait of Malacca, in Malaysia. They will be deployed in the maritime, land and air sector, allowing the allied countries to access military telecommunications services in X-band, Ka-band and in X/Ka dual band mode, while benefitting from unique flexibility and levels of protection and precision in compliance with the highest NATO standards.

Syracuse IV is a testament to the will of the main European space industries (Airbus, Leonardo and Thales) to cooperate with France to commercialise satellite capacity to help armed and security forces in Europe and worldwide.