Updated: Jun 18, 2021
Strasbourg, June 17, 2021 -- The Italian Ministry of Defense has awarded the development of the SICRAL 3 secure satellite communications system, including its ground segment, to the Thales Alenia Space and Telespazio. The total value of the contract is approximately €159 million.
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. The space segment includes two geostationary satellites, SICRAL 3A and SICRAL 3B. The innovative platform, which features electric propulsion, is based on a modular and autonomous orbital transfer design using GNSS/GPS sensors and receivers for satellite positioning and attitude. Leonardo will supply the star sensors that enable SICRAL 3 to maintain the correct attitude in orbit through sophisticated algorithms.
The SICRAL (Italian System for Secure Communications and Alerts) program deploys geostationary satellites for confidential strategic and tactical communications, to support defence missions both in Italy and abroad. The new SICRAL 3 system is designed to meet Italian defence communications and interoperability requirements. It will ensure continuity with the current SHF and UHF-band telecom services provided by the SICRAL 1A, 1B and SICRAL 2 satellites while expanding its suite of services by providing a Ka-band payload, as well as supporting security, public rescue and civil protection services.
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.
To develop the SICRAL 3 program, Thales Alenia Space and Telespazio, via their Space Alliance, have created a temporary consortium led by Thales Alenia Space, with Telespazio also playing a major role.