Sicral 1B Shipped to Launch Site
[Satellite Today 11-14-08] The Sicral 1B satellite, built by Thales Alenia Space, has completed integration and testing and has been shipped to its launch site, Thales Alenia Space announced Nov. 14.
Sicral 1B will provide strategic and tactical communications services for the Italian armed forces as well as ensuring mobile communications with land, naval and air platforms. The satellite will also provide NATO forces with UHF and SHF satcom capabilities based on a memorandum of understanding signed in 2004 by the Italian, French and British ministries of defense and the Atlantic Alliance.
Thales Alenia Space, the satellite’s prime contractor, is responsible for parts of the ground segment, including the Telecommunications Control Center in Vigna di Valle, Italy. Telespazio and Thales Alenia Space Italy have teamed up within the scope of the space alliance between Finmeccanica and Thales, to take charge of the satellite launch and early orbit phase and to complete the ground segment.
Launch of Sicral 1B is scheduled for January. The satellite has a design life of 12 years and will work in tandem with NATO’s Sicral 2, expected to be in service until 2012.