Telespazio Wins Italian Military Deal
[09-14-07 – Satellite Today] Telespazio, the Italian satellite operator, has won a key military contract in Italy, the company said Sept. 13. The operator has signed a 118 million euros ($163.96 million) contract with the Italian Defense Ministry (Teledife) for the launch and operation of the Sicral 1B satellite. Telespazio will finance part of the program and will be allowed to use some of the satellite’s transmission capacity to offer telecoms services to NATO. Sicral 1B will be launched in the second half of 2008 and will have an expected operating life of 13 years. The first satellite in the system, Sicral 1, was launched in February 2001 and is currently also used by NATO countries.
In terms of this deal, Telespazio, a Finmeccanica/Thales company, will head a temporary consortium set up with Thales Alenia Space Italia. Under the agreement signed with Teledife, the consortium will be responsible for both the space and ground segment of the program. Telespazio will manage the satellite launch services, the launch and early operation phase and the subsequent in-orbit testing phases.