At 10pm last night the Franco-Italian military telecommunications satellite, Sicral2 was successfully launched. Lift-off took place thanks to the Arianespace off the European space-port of Kourou in French Guyana. The satellite is part of a joint programme of cooperation of the Ministry of Defence and the French Armaments Directorate (Dga), who has participated with a market share respectively 62% and 38%, and was constructed by ThalesAlenia Space and Telespazio, the two companies that make up the Space Alliance between Finmeccanica and Thales.
Placed on a geo-stationary orbit at 36,000 published km, Sicral 2 will have a working life expectancy of more than 15 years and will enhance the capabilities of satellite communications already assured for Italy, from Sicral 1 and Sicral 1B (launched in 2001 and 2009) and,for France, from Syracuse 3A and 3B (launched in 2005 and 2006). SICRAL 2 is characterized by a flexibility and versatility never before achieved in the past and ensures total operating capacity with existing satellite assets, with the Nato traffic terminals existing in national telecommunications networks.
“The launch of the satellite Sicral2 marks another breakthrough in Franco-Italian partnership on space programmes,” said Jean-Loic Galle, President and Ceo of Thales Alenia Space. “Telespazio is pleased to have contributed to the success of Sicral 2 Mission of the Italian Ministry of Defence and the French Dga,” the Ceo of Telespazio, Luigi Pasquali has affirmed.
“As with previous missions of the Sicral programme, the company oversaw the completion of the ground segment and has handled the delicate phases of launch putting into orbit of the satellite, thus confirming a long tradition of excellence in the field of spatial operations. Also for Sicral 2, Telespazio has invested directly in the programme, and will have a part of this satellite capacity to offer communications services to the armed forces of Nato countries “.
Translation provided by Marina Stronati