Initial Operational Capability (IOC):
EUR€118 million (USD$124 million)
Avio, Telespazio* and Thales Alenia Space (*) lead contractor
Parent System: Sicral
Initial Operational Capability (IOC): March 2001
Total Production: 3
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Description: The Sicral (Sistema Italiano per Comunicazioni Riservate ed Allarmi) is the first Italian space-based communications system developed in partnership between Alenia Spazio (70%), Fiat Avio (20%) and Telespazio (10%). It provides strategic communications between Italian national authorities and forces deployed overseas. The Sicral satellite communications system consists of the satellite constellation (currently one satellite), the management and control center at Vigna di Valle (Italy), and over 100 users terminals for ground, sea and airborne platforms. The satellite can work on three frequency bands: EHF (Extremely High Frequency 20-44 GHz), UHF (Ultra High Frequency 260-300 MHz) and SHF (Super High Frequency 7-8 GHz).
The first Sicral satellite, named Sicral 1, was launched on February 7, 2001, by an Ariane 4 space launch system from Kourou space center in French Guiana. Italy expects to launch the second Sicral satellite, called Sicral 1B, in the second half of 2008 and the third one (Sicral 2) in 2011. The Sicral communications system has been employed recently by Italian forces in humanitarian and international missions with excellent results. In May 2004, NATO selected Sicral along with Syracuse and Skynet to provide space-based global communications services.
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