Initial Operational Capability (IOC):
16 December 2005
Also Known As: Syracuse 3A and Syracuse 3B
Alcatel-Lucent and Thales
Parent System: Syracuse III
Initial Operational Capability (IOC): 16 December 2005
Total Production: 2
Total Cost: USD$4.3 billion
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Description: The Syracuse III military communications satellites network has been designed to provide secure liaison, including both voice and data, between mainland France national authorities and French military forces deployed overseas. Syracuse III is the replacement for Syracuse II network providing 10 times greater communications capacity. This military communications program includes two Syracuse III satellites (known as Syracuse 3A and Syracuse 3B) to be operated simultaneously through 2018 and 600 communications terminals ranging from man-portable devices to ship-mounted stations. The Syracuse 3C satellite has been planned as the third Syracuse III spacecraft that could replace Syracuse 3A before 2018 expanding service life of the program.
Syracuse III satellites benefit from latest SHF (Super High Frequency) and EHF (Extremely High Frequency) developments. In addition, Syracuse III satellites have been hardened to withstand nuclear blast effects. In addition, Thales' modem XXI provides jamming-resistant communications and high data rates of tens of Megabits/second. Enhanced interoperability with allied nations is another of the goals of Syracuse III program. By the end of 2000, The French DGA awarded a $2.5 billion contract to Alcatel Space for Syracuse III program Space Segment, including production and put into orbit workload. As of December 2004, the first Syracuse III satellite, named Syracuse 3A, has been scheduled for put into orbit in 2005 (delayed one year from early schedule). Syracuse 3B should be put into orbit in 2006 (originally late 2005).
On December 2, 2004, Thales was awarded a €1.3 billion procurement contract by DGA covering development, acquisition and support services until 2020 for the satellite communications (SATCOM) terminals related to the Syracuse III ground segment. Thales will act as the prime contractor for the ground segment and Alcatel Space will be the main subcontractor with 30% stake. Ground segment includes delivery of 600 satcom terminals to be integrated into armored vehicles, surface ships, submarines and ground stations. Initial operational capability is expected in 2007. Talisman will be a 13 kg weight, 60 cm wide antenna, two-man-portable satcom terminal specifically designed to meet the requirements of French special operations forces.
Finally, Syracuse 3A was launched successfully from Kourou in the French Guyana on Thursday, 13 October, 2005. Syracuse III was expected to provide satellite communications to the French Armed Forces and to NATO forces in cooperation with UK's Skynet and Italy's Sicral satellite communication systems replacing NATO IV constellation. Syracuse 3A spacecraft achieved IOC December 16, 2005. Syracuse 3B spacecraft was put into orbit successfully overnight between 11 and 12 August 2006 by an Ariane 5 launch vehicle at the Kourou space center in the French Guyana.
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