[Via Satellite 12-23-2015] The French defense procurement agency, Direction générale de l’armement (DGA), part of the Defense Ministry, has selected a consortium formed by Thales Alenia Space (65 percent) and Airbus Defence and Space (35 percent) to build and deliver Comsat NG, the country’s new military satellite communications system. The Comsat NG contract covers the construction and launch of two military communications satellites for the French armed forces to replace the Syracuse 3A and Syracuse 3B satellites, launched in 2005 and 2006, respectively. These new satellites will enter service in 2021 and will give France a higher performance system featuring new services.
Thales Alenia Space is building one satellite on the all-electric Spacebus Neo platform, and Airbus Defence and Space is building an all-electric satellite on the Eurostar E3000 platform. Both satellites will have identical X and high throughput Ka-band payloads from Thales Alenia Space. Airbus Defence and Space will also be responsible for an essential part of the two satellites’ payloads. The Comsat NG satellites will feature equipment such as an active anti-jamming antenna and a digital onboard processor to provide resistance even to extreme jamming methods.
The contract also includes an extensive ground segment, including construction of the ground control and mission facilities, mainly calling on Thales Alenia Space’s Space Ops solutions. It will also include the refurbishment of ground stations in France and operating and maintenance support for a period of 17 years. As lead contractor, Thales Alenia Space will be in charge of relations with the Ministry of Defense.
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