[SatNews] As mandataire of the Temporary Grouping of Companies already set up with Telespazio (Finmeccanica), Thales Alenia Thales Alenia Space announces the company has signed a new phase of the contract for the COSMO-SkyMed Second Generation (CSG) satellite program with the Italian space agency ASI)—this new phase is worth 182 million euros, with Thales Alenia Space receiving 154 million euros of the total and Telespazio 28 million euros.
Thales Alenia Space is prime contractor for the COSMO-SkyMed program, in charge of building the two CSG satellites, while Telespazio is responsible for developing the ground segment and integrated logistics for operations. This latest contract will start Phase C4/D1 of the program, entailing the detailed system design, the manufacture of the space segment which comprises two high-performance satellites, as well as the ground infrastructure. The amount signed covers the completion of the first satellite and development of the entire ground segment, as well as procurement of equipment needed for the construction of the second satellite.
To guarantee service continuity with COSMO-SkyMed first-generation satellites, the first second-generation satellite will have to be launched and operational by the first half of 2018, and the second satellite by the first half of 2019. To meet this deadline, financing of the entire system must be completed by early 2016.
The development of COSMO-SkyMed Second Generation will provide a quantum leap in the system's technology, performance and service life, further strengthening Italian leadership in Earth observation. It will also foster an expansion of the country's strategic International partnerships, like those already in place with France and Poland.
COSMO-SkyMed funded by ASI, the Italian Ministry of Defence and the Italian Ministry of Education, Universities and Scientific Research, is the first earth satellite observation system designed for dual purposes, i.e. civil and military. Its four identical satellites ‘watch’ our planet from space day and night under all atmospheric conditions, thanks to high resolution X-band radar. The program was produced completely by the main industries of the aerospace sector, co-operated by a significant number of small and medium-sized companies. Thales Alenia Space is the company prime contractor, responsible for the entire system, including the ground and space segment. Telespazio built the entire ground segment, and the Fucino Space Center houses the Control Center of the Constellation
“We are extremely satisfied with this signature," said Donato Amoroso, CEO of Thales Alenia Space Italia. "It clearly reflects the sustained commitment of everybody involved, including the Italian space agency and its President, Roberto Battiston, the government as well as the Defense and MIUR (education, universities and research) ministries, partners in the project. COSMO-SkyMed is the flagship of Italy's advanced radar technology, and is also the only national Earth observation system of its type anywhere in the world.”