This partnership demonstrates the desire for cooperation by European industrial prime contractors Airbus, Thales and Leonardo, as well as the French State, in marketing Syracuse IV satellite capacity for the benefit of armed and security forces in Europe and around the world.
Syracuse IV is a telecommunication system consisting of two military satellites, Syracuse 4A and 4B, plus ground stations to ensure communications in the operational areas and with mainland France. These two 3.5-tonne class, electric-propulsion geostationary satellites are being built by an industrial group consisting of Thales Alenia Space and Airbus, with launch planned for 2022. They will be supplemented in around 2030 by a third satellite in order to meet growing needs, in particular the specific needs of air vehicles (aircraft, UAVs). These new-generation satellites will be the first to offer a completely flexible reconfiguration of the X‑ and Ka-band military payload as well as the means of protection and hardening against cyber, jamming, intercept and EMP-type threats.
The French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA), Airbus, Thales Alenia Space and Telespazio have put together an innovative financing initiative, enabling any excess satellite capacity to be sold to third-party customers, thereby bringing down the total cost of ownership of the Syracuse IV system. These sales contracts are scheduled for a 10-year period.