Thales Alenia Space (TAS) has secured a contract to support Brazil's geostationary defence and strategic communications satellite (SGDC) programme.
Awarded by Embraer and Telebras joint venture (JV) Visiona Tecnologia Espacial, the contract is key to space development plans made by the Brazilian Space Agency, and to meeting the Ministry of Defence's (MoD) strategic requirements.
Under the contract, the company will provide a Spacebus 4000 platform-based satellite, which will carry two payloads, one with 50 Ka-band transponders offering throughput of up to 80Gbps, and the other with seven X-band transponders.
Additional responsibilities include supply of a complete ground segment for satellite and mission control, along with orbital positioning, and acceptance testing in orbit and operational support, preceded by a complete training programme for Brazilian operators.
Thales Alenia Space president and CEO, Jean Loïc Galle, said: "Our people are now mobilised to make sure we meet all our commitments, and to ensure the smooth integration of Brazilian companies in this major project.''
The contract comes just two weeks after signing of a BRL1.3bn ($548m) contract between Visiona and Telebras, the end customer of the SGDC system.
Visiona has also awarded a contract to Arianespace for SGDC launch activities.
Commenting on contracts, Visiona's president, Nelson Salgado, said: ''Another relevant stage of the project has been concluded, allowing us to move forward with the work of developing the system.''
An integral part of Brazil's strategy to reinforce its independence and sovereignty, the SGDC programme is primarily expected to enable deployment of a secure satellite communications system for the Brazilian government and armed forces, named the National Broadband Plan (PNBL), with coordination from Telebras.
The satellite, which will be operated by MoD on the X-band and Telebras on the K-band, is scheduled to be delivered in 31 months.
Image: an impression of Brazil's geostationary defence and strategic communications satellite system. Photo: courtesy of Thales Group.