Alcatel Alenia Space has signed a €103 M contract with the Italian Ministry of Defense to provide the telecommunication satellite SICRAL-1B. The satellite, dedicated to the Italian Armed Forces, will ensure strategic and tactical communications on Italian and foreign territories as well as mobile communications between terrestrial, naval and air platforms. It will also provide UHF and SHF band satellite capacities to NATO forces in accordance with a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), which was signed in 2004 between the Ministries of Defense of Italy, France and the UK, and the Atlantic Alliance.

The new contract is financed by the Italian Ministry of Economic Development. As prime contractor, Alcatel Alenia Space will manufacture and deliver the satellite as well as several ground segments’ subsystems including the Telecommunications Control Centre in Vigna di Valle, Italy.

SICRAL-1B structure manufacturing and satellite integration is taking place in Alcatel Alenia Space’s facility in Turin, Italy, while the environmental tests will be carried out in its facility in Cannes, France. The payload will be manufactured in Rome and is composed of 3 UHF band, 5 SHF band and 1 EHF/Ka band transmitters.

SICRAL-1B, which is set for launch at the end of 2007, will supplement SICRAL-1, which has been in operation since 2001. It will increase the availability and the complete reliability of the SICRAL system and will satisfy the operational requirements that the Italian Armed Forces are facing. SICRAL-1B will be operational until 2019 and will be followed by SICRAL-2, which should be operational from 2011 until 2026.