PARIS --- Alcatel Alenia Space today announced that it will provide the Defense User Ground Segment for the Italian Cosmo-SkyMed earth observation program to the French Ministry of Defense. The Euro 32 million contract has been awarded by the Italian Space Agency (ASI) which acts as a procurement agency for the Italian and French Ministries of Defense.
This contract is part of the French and Italian inter-governmental agreement to ensure inter-operability and data exchange between Italian Cosmo-SkyMed and French Helios II systems.
The equipment, designed and build by Alcatel Alenia Space in Italy, will be installed in the French Ministry of Defense military centre of Creil (Paris neighborhood).
The Cosmo-SkyMed contract, valued at Euro 775 million, was awarded by ASI to Alcatel Alenia Space on December 21, 2004 to build the first three satellites of the constellation. Cosmo-SkyMed program is part of ORFEO, a dual-use (civilian and military) earth observation satellite network, developed jointly between France and Italy. The system consists of 2 satellites equipped with advanced electro-optical payloads, known as Pleiades, and 4 satellites equipped with a synthetic aperture radar (SAR), known as Cosmo-SkyMed.
Carlo Aleberto Penazzi, CEO of Alcatel Alenia Space in Italy said: "This contract is a great achievement for Alcatel Alenia Space as it reiterates the importance and value of the Italian Cosmo-SkyMed constellation, one of the most sophisticated and best performing observation systems in the world. As prime contract on the Cosmo-SkyMed program, Alcatel Alenia Space is the industrial leader in charge of a team with significant involvement from other Italian space companies, including Telespazio."
He added: "Work on the constellation is proceeding very rapidly, with the objective of launching the first satellite by the last quarter of 2006 and the remaining ones at 8 month intervals, so as to make Cosmo-SkyMed fully operational by the end of 2008."
Cosmo-SkyMed satellites are designed to provide monitoring, surveillance and intelligence data at any time whatever the weather conditions. Cosmo-SkyMed can be used for a great variety of applications by military customers as well as by civilian institutions and scientific communities for environmental monitoring (including prevention of natural disasters and topographic mapping in high-resolution among others).
Alcatel Alenia Space is the European leader in satellite systems, at the forefront of orbit infrastructures. Created in July 2005, the company brings together the vast experience and know-how of Alcatel Space and Alenia Spazio to form a new leading force in European space technology. Alcatel Alenia Space represents a worldwide standard for space development that impacts everybody's future: from navigation to telecommunications, from meteorology to environmental monitoring, from defense to science and observation. Alcatel Alenia Space is an Alcatel (67%) and Finmeccanica (33%).
Alcatel Alenia Space Provides the User Ground Segment for the Italian Cosmo-SkyMed Observation Program