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Hisdesat selects consortium to build Spainsat NG satellites

Advanced technologies for the Next Generation secure communications

A four co-primes consortium formed by Thales Alenia Space-TAS (JV betweenThales 67%, and Leonardo 33%) in Spain and France, and Airbus in Spain and France, has been selected by Hisdesat Servicios Estratégicos SA (Spanish Governmental Satellite Operator), for two SPAINSAT NG satellites for governmental communications that will replace the existing SPAINSAT and Xtar-EUR satellites. Airbus will act as “lead partner” of the consortium.

The SPAINSAT NG programme includes two satellites, SPAINSAT NG I and II which will be situated in different geostationary orbital slots to operate in X, military Ka and UHF bands.

The first of these New Generation SPAINSAT satellites will be launched in 2023 guaranteeing thecontinuity of the secure communications services to the Spanish Ministry of Defense and Governmental Agencies using the current fleet.SPAINSAT NG will provide coverage on a wide area of the world ranging from the United Statesand South America to the Middle East, including Africa and Europe, and till Singapore in Asia.Both satellites will allow:

Ensure effective command and control for beyond line-of-sight operations in 2/3 of the Earth.

Guarantee communication capability in theatres of operation lacking communicationsinfrastructure.

Develop more satcom on the move, higher capacity, better secured and assuredcommunications.

Unlock the potential of the network centric battlespace-netcentric warfare and operations.

The communication payloads of both satellites will be provided by the Spanish industry, includingthe integration of the Communications Module in Spain, a major step forward for the Spanish industry. TAS in Spain will be responsible for the UHF and mil-Ka band payloadswhile Airbus in Spain will be responsible for the X band payload. Other companies from theSpanish space industry will also be involved.

UHF is a new capability that was not available on the previous SPAINSAT fleet. Both satellites willoffer redundancy in the zones of interest for the Spanish Armed Forces and will also incorporateadvanced protection technologies for anti-jamming and anti-spoofing, plus hardened protection  against nuclear phenomena at high altitude.

The satellites will be based on the Eurostar Neo platform, Airbus’ new geostationarytelecommunications satellite product, a significant evolution of the highly reliable and successful Eurostar series with an entire range of major innovations. These include an X band fully flexiblepayload, employing active antennas with in orbit reconfiguration capability, an onboard digitalprocessor that will interconnect the X and mil-Ka band payloads for cross-banding, and adedicated high speed service link enabling fast re-configuration. This will result in a greatercapacity, and increased flexibility allowing for electronic reorientation of the beams depending onthe coverage needs.

Hisdesat is the owner and operator of the new generation of communication satellites, SPAINSATNG. The main customer is the Spanish Ministry of Defence having a Public Private Partnershipwith Hisdesat and, among others, the new satellites will also contribute to other Spanishgovernmental bodies, allies and friendly countries with bilateral agreements, the EU governmental Communications programme, “Govsatcom” and hopefully to the future NATO CP130 capabilities package for satellite communications. In addition, SPAINSAT NG will continue providing services to the existing and future customer base of XTAR LLc.

The development of SPAINSAT NG is supported by the Spanish Ministry of Industry, Trade andTourism, as well as the Spanish Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI) inthe framework of a public-private partnership between the European Space Agency (ESA) and the satellite operator Hisdesat.

The SPAINSAT NG satellites will have an operational lifetime of 15 years being in service up to 2037.

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