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Spotlight: NATO Turns To Europe For Critical Services

By | May 10, 2004

      France, Italy and the United Kingdom will provide critical new satellite-communications services jointly to NATO starting next year and continuing through 2019.

      The existing national Syracuse program in France, the Sicral program in Italy and the Skynet program in the U.K. have been tapped to support NATO’s rising SHF and UHF satellite space-segment requirements. The satellite communications capabilities of those three programs are expected to fulfill NATO’s ever-increasing demand for military satellite communications and to help ensure coherence with NATO’s expanding crisis-management role, industry officials said.

      The systems from those three countries would provide fully deployable communications capabilities to support NATO’s military operations. The NATO satellite communications needs also are to be addressed with the assistance of the respective government procurement agencies in each of the three nations.

      Alcatel Space in France, Alenia Spazio in Italy and Paradigm Secure Communications in the United Kingdom are the private-sector companies that will be working closely with those government agencies to coordinate and provide NATO’s required services. Those companies are three of Europe’s key players in the European satellite space industry, and they have been collaborating with each other throughout the procurement process. In addition, each of those companies has a powerful parent, Alcatel, Finmeccanica and EADS, respectively, to lend further support.

      Paradigm Secure Communications, the military satellite communication provider in the U.K., signed a $3.02 billion contract with the U.K. Ministry of Defense for military communications services last year. The NATO deal reinforces Paradigm’s position as a provider of military satellite-communications services not only in the U.K. but also internationally, said Malcolm Peto, the company’s managing director, who added, “This is excellent news for Paradigm and the European space industry.”

      –Paul Dykewicz

      (Malcolm Peto, Paradigm Secure Communications, 011 44 (0)1438 282066)

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