[SatNews] The Sicral 2 telecommunications satellite, a joint undertaking of the Italian Ministry of Defense and the French defense procurement agency DGA (part of the Ministry of Defense), has arrived safely at the Guiana Space Center in French Guiana for an Ariane 5 launch on April 15th.
After being developed at the Thales Alenia Space plants in Rome, l’Aquila, Cannes and Toulouse, the satellite has been integrated in Rome and Turin facilities and then underwent environmental tests at the company's plant in Cannes. The satellite will now undergo final tests and pre-launch procedures at the Guiana Space Center.
Sicral 2 is one of the basic building blocks in Italian-French defense cooperation. It is a technological state-of-the-art system, designed to bolster the military satellite communications capabilities already offered by Italy's Sicral 1 and Sicral 1B satellites, and by the Syracuse system in France. Sicral 2 is a joint program funded by the Italian and French Ministries of Defense, with shares of 68 and 32 percent, respectively, as part of a broader Framework Agreement between the two countries. This agreement also involves the countries' space agencies and recently led to the launch of the dual-use broadband communications satellite, Athena-Fidus.
The satellite weights 4360 kg with 7KW power and will host a UHF and SHF payload for the Italian mission, a SHF payload for the French mission as well as a payload for remote control, Telemetry and Ranging with use of Expanded Spectrum modulations.
The Sicral 2 system will strengthen strategic and tactical satellite telecommunications for both France and Italy, guaranteeing interoperability with existing satellite resources, NATO allies' terminals and national telecommunications networks.