EADS Astrium, an aerospace subsidiary of EADS, is set to deliver the first of two military communications satellites into orbit for the German Army by the end of September 2009.
The German Army has, for the first time, acquired its own military communications satellites as part of the military satellite communications programme SATCOMBw stage 2, that will lay the foundation for a secure network for use by deployed units across the globe.
The satellites will be used to support the autonomous, global transmission of audio and data as well as video and multimedia applications.
The entire system will be fully operational by the end of 2010 once the second satellite is launched.
The first satellite weighing approximately 2.4t, was shipped to Kourou in August 2009 following suitability tests and is now ready to enter the orbit.
During their operational life of 15 years the two communications satellites will be positioned in a geostationary orbit covering an area from America to eastern Asia.
The German aerospace centre DLR will undertake operating responsibility for the two satellites across several locations.