Initial Operational Capability (IOC):
Also Known As: Capacite de Renseignement Electromagnetique Spatiale
Airbus Defence and Space*, Thales* and Thales Alenia Space (*) lead contractor
Parent System: CERES
Initial Operational Capability (IOC): 2020
Total Production: 3
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Description: The Capacite de Renseignement Electromagnetique Spatiale, or Space Signal Intelligence Capacity in English, (CERES) is satellite intended to serve as the first signals intelligence (SIGINT) asset on behalf of the French Armed Forces. The CERES program builds on the experience acquired from ESSAIM and ELISA demonstrators. The space-based SIGINT capability is a priority for the French National Security apparatus in the 2014-2019 timeframe. The three spacecraft will be closely positioned to detect and locate ground signals. The CERES system also includes a ground control station and user ground segment. The French Defense Procurement Agency (DGA) awarded a contract for three CERES satellites to Airbus Defence and Space and Thales as prime contractors on March 12, 2015. Airbus will take care of the space segment and Thales will take responsibility for the payload and the user ground segment. Thales Alenia Space will act a sub-contractor supplying the spacecrafts. The first spacecraft is expected to be placed into orbit by 2020.
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