Space Alliance will build SICRAL 3

16 June 2021

Telespazio and Thales Alenia Space will build for the Italian Ministry of Defense the SICRAL 3 secure satellite communications system, including its ground segment.

The SICRAL (Italian System for Secure Communications and Alerts) program deploys geostationary satellites for confidential strategic and tactical communications, to support defense missions both in Italy and abroad.

SICRAL 3 will also capitalize on the ongoing developments within the ItalGovSatCom (I-GSC) program, a pillar of the evolving Space Economy and the programmes of military research and will help expand NATO’s current satellite capabilities.

The space segment includes two geostationary satellites, SICRAL 3A and SICRAL 3B.

Thales Alenia Space will be responsible for the entire SICRAL 3 telecommunications system, the space segment (including system design and integration), and the design, production and integration of the innovative UHF, SHF and Ka-band payloads.

Leonardo will supply the star sensors that enable SICRAL 3 to maintain the correct attitude in orbit through sophisticated algorithms.

Telespazio will manage the development of the highly innovative ground segment, drawing on synergies with previous SICRAL developments for the Vigna di Valle Control Center and the Fucino Space Center. The company will be in charge of the satellites’ launch and early orbit phase (LEOP) and in-orbit tests (IOT).

“SICRAL missions have represented excellence in the implementation and management of complex space programs for over 20 years.The Space Alliance between Leonardo and Thales, through its companies Telespazio and Thales Alenia Space, works closely with the Italian Ministry of Defense to provide modern and effective satellite communications services for our country and NATO. By ensuring the continuity of the SICRAL program and expanding its services, especially through an added Ka band, our defense forces will have the operational capacity needed to further strengthen the country’s international role.”

Luigi Pasquali, Telespazio's CEO

 “The SICRAL 3 contract marks a major step forward for Thales Alenia Space and the entire space industry in terms of our ability to propose design solutions and technologies, not only for the Italian government but also for allied nations and international organizations such as NATO. This contract reflects the fruitful long-standing collaboration between our company and the Defense Administration. Thanks to the experience gained in conducting national programs such as SICRAL and COSMO-SkyMed, as well as expertise in both ground and space systems, the Italian space industry retains full autonomous capacity in the development and delivery of end-to-end solutions for large-scale integrated systems."

Massimo Claudio Comparini, Deputy CEO and SEVP Exploration, Observation and Navigation at Thales Alenia Space.

Thales Alenia Space and Telespazio have already supplied to the Italian Ministry of Defense the two first-generation SICRAL satellites, SICRAL 1 (no longer in operation) and SICRAL 1B, and the second-generation SICRAL 2 satellite.

Telespazio, having co-financed the SICRAL 1B and SICRAL 2 missions, has consolidated its role as a defense satellite operator. Holding a share of these satellites’ transmission capacity, it offers telecommunications services to the armed forces of NATO member countries.

The Space Alliance also contributed to the development and launch of the Athena-Fidus satellite for military and dual (civil-military) telecommunications for France and Italy and two Satcom BW satellites for Germany. Thanks to Athena-Fidus and SICRAL 2, Thales Alenia Space and Telespazio form the cornerstone of European collaboration in defense.

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