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The French Ministry of Defence renews its satellite telecommunications services contract with Astrium


Le Bourget. – The French Ministry of Defence’s telecommunications operator, DIRISI, awarded the entire ASTEL-S contract to Astrium Services at the end of April 2009. Astrium has now become the ministry’s sole supplier in the private sector of fixed satellite services. Eric Béranger, CEO Astrium Services said: “This success confirms the French Ministry of Defence’s keen interest in our portfolio of services and their satisfaction with the quality of what we offer"

A tailored service

The four-year contract will provide French forces all over the world with civil (Ku-, Ka- and C-band) and military (UHF- and X-band) satellite telecommunications services that complement the Syracuse network. Astrium Services’ subsidiary, the London Satellite Exchange (LSE), will provide a one-stop shop to meet the needs of the French armed forces and ensure 24/7 service. This contract follows on from the first ASTEL-S contract, which was awarded by the French Ministry of Defence in May 2005 and under which Astrium provided satellite capacity in specific bands. The DIRISI assesses the French Ministry of Defence’s need for capacity could be up to 100 MHz frequency range.

New features

The new ASTEL-S contract includes the provision of satellite capacity in the UHF- and Ka-bands. Complementary teleport services will also be provided throughout the world with links back to the Ministry of Defence’s sites in France.

The ASTEL-S civil satellite services will also ensure links between French Navy vessels equipped with C- and Ku-band antennas, Air Force users (especially SIDM drones), Army units equipped with tri-band ground terminals and the Ministry of Defence’s teleports (France Sud, Houilles, Six-Fours, Réunion Island, etc.). Furthermore, complementary services will provide direct links with the Ministry of Defence’s sites in France.

Astrium, a wholly owned subsidiary of EADS, is dedicated to providing civil and defence space systems and services. In 2008, Astrium had a turnover of €4.3 billion and more than 15,000 employees in France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain and the Netherlands. Its three main areas of activity are Astrium Space Transportation for launchers and orbital infrastructure, Astrium Satellites for spacecraft and ground segment and Astrium Services for the development and delivery of satellite services.

EADS is a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services. In 2008, EADS generated revenues of €43.3 billion and employed a workforce of more than 118, 000.


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