Thales Alenia Space and Telespazio Win Contract from Italian Space Agency
(Source: Thales Alenia Space; issued July 23, 2019)
ROME --- The Space Alliance between Thales Alenia Space (Thales 67%, Leonardo 33%) and Telespazio (Leonardo 67%, Thales 33%) announced today that it has signed a contract with the Italian Space Agency (ASI) for the initial development of an innovative satellite system dubbed Ital-GovSatCom.

This contract paves the way for a dynamic program within the scope of the Italian “Space Economy” initiative.

The contract, signed by Thales Alenia Space as the lead company in a temporary consortium (RTI), is the first within the scope of the Space Economy initiative, providing for both private and government participation. It is defined in a collaboration agreement between the Italian Ministry of Economic Development (MISE) and the Italian Space Agency (ASI), and a Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry and 12 Italian regions (Abruzzi, Basilicata, Campania, Emilia-Romagna, Lazio, Lombardy, Piedmont, Apulia, Sardinia, Tuscany, Umbria, Aosta Valley and the autonomous province of Trento), to foster the development and competitiveness of the Italian space industry and provide high-performance services for both the government and commercial markets.

The Ital-GovSatCom program was originally Italy’s contribution to a European initiative called GovSatCom. Designed to give Italy a strong position in the strategic sector of governmental communications, its aim is to develop and operate an innovative and competitive satellite system providing secure, robust and reliable communication services for several government applications, including civil security, defense, humanitarian aid, telemedicine and maritime surveillance.

Thales Alenia Space in Italy is leading a consortium of Italian space companies that will be responsible for the satellite design and the main satellite subsystems, including an innovative payload. Telespazio will be in charge of the ground system and the launch and early orbit phase (LEOP), while also supplying all planned institutional services as part of the GovSatCom system.

The satellite will be compatible with launches by vehicles such as the Vega light launcher, built by AVIO. The complete satellite system, including the ground segment and related applications, calls on critical technologies from major Italian space industry players Thales Alenia Space, Telespazio, Leonardo, SITAEL and Space Engineering, along with a number of innovative small and medium-size enterprises (SME).

“The Space Alliance’s involvement in this first contract as part of the Space Economy initiative clearly reflects the Italian Space Agency’s trust in our experience and capabilities, especially our proven ability to deliver state-of-the-art satellites,” said Donato Amoroso, CEO of Thales Alenia Space in Italy, and Luigi Pasquali, CEO of Telespazio, in a joint statement.

“The contract signed today marks a crucial and strategic cooperation opportunity between ASI and the Italian space industry. It also confirms the new trend in space business, as well as the transformational Space Economy strategy that Thales Alenia Space has already implemented with the aim of becoming the leading manufacturer of innovative, competitive, modular and multipurpose satellites and the top supplier of secure services, delivering high added-value and competitive solutions to both the institutional and commercial markets.”

This contract marks the first step in a Space Economy project, starting with the design and development of space infrastructures and resulting in innovative products and services for communications, navigation and positioning, environmental monitoring, weather forecasting, etc. It will represent one of the most promising developments in the global economy in the decades to come.


The Space Alliance, founded in 2005, is a strategic partnership between Leonardo and Thales, the major industrial groups in the aerospace industry in Italy and France. It includes two joint ventures: Telespazio (Leonardo 67%, Thales 33%) and Thales Alenia Space (Thales 67%, Leonardo 33%). The complementary capabilities of Thales Alenia Space in satellite systems and Telespazio in the services associated with them provides the Space Alliance all the assets needed to respond positively and effectively to the needs of the market, which today are increasingly focused on applications related to space technologies.

A joint venture between Thales (67%) and Leonardo (33%), Thales Alenia Space also teams up with Telespazio to form the parent companies’ Space Alliance, which offers a complete range of services. Thales Alenia Space posted consolidated revenues of about 2.5 billion euros in 2018 and has around 8,000 employees in nine countries.

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