France to Study Space-Based Ballistic Missile Warning System Feasibility

Released on Tuesday, January 20, 2004
IR - InfraRed
UCAV - Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle
The French Armaments Procurement Agency (DGA) has notified EADS Astrium SAS, an EADS subsidiary, a €124 million (approximately $156 million) contract for development of an space-based ballistic missile warning system demonstrator.

The new French space-based system equipped with advanced optronic sensors will provide early warning against ballistic missiles in their boost phase launched from foe territories.

This contract funds development, production, and support of two micro satellites to be put into orbit by Ariane 5 after 2008. Alcatel Space, as the main subcontractor, will be responsible for IR optronic sensors integration.

The French Ballistic Warning System will consist of two micro-satellites weighing 120 kg operating on an elliptical orbit and ground facilities acting as control and imagery processing stations.

This program has been christened as SPIRALE and paves the way for a future larger French space-based ballistic warning system.

In addition, the Greek government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) joining Sweden and France to carry out the UCAV program demonstrator.


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