A four co-primes consortium formed by Thales Alenia Space (JV between Thales 67 %, and Leonardo 33 %) in Spain and France, and Airbus in Spain and France, has been selected by Hisdesat Servicios Estratégicos S.A. (Spanish Governmental Satellite Operator), for two SPAINSAT NG satellites for governmental communications that will replace the existing SPAINSAT and Xtar-EUR satellites. Airbus will act as “lead partner” of the consortium.
The SPAINSAT NG programme includes two satellites, SPAINSAT NG I and II, which will be
situated in different geostationary orbital slots to operate in X, military Ka and UHF bands.
The first of these New Generation SPAINSAT satellites will be launched in 2023 guaranteeing the continuity of the secure communications services to the Spanish Ministry of Defense and
Governmental Agencies using the current fleet.
SPAINSAT NG will provide coverage on a wide area of the world ranging from the United States
and South America to the Middle East, including Africa and Europe, and till Singapore in Asia.
Both satellites will ensure effective command and control for beyond line-of-sight operations in 2/3 of the Earth; communication capability in theatres of operation lacking communications
Infrastructure; more satcom on the move, higher capacity, better secured and assured
communications; and greater potential of the network centric battlespace-netcentric warfare and operations.
The communication payloads of both satellites will be provided by the Spanish industry, including the integration of the Communications Module in Spain, a major step forward for the Spanish industry. Thales Alenia Space in Spain will be responsible for the UHF and mil-Ka band payloads while Airbus in Spain will be responsible for the X band payload. Other companies from the Spanish space industry will also be involved.
UHF is a new capability that was not available on the previous SPAINSAT fleet. Both satellites will offer redundancy in the zones of interest for the Spanish Armed Forces and will also incorporate advanced protection technologies for anti-jamming and anti-spoofing, plus hardened protection against nuclear phenomena at high altitude.
The satellites will be based on the Eurostar Neo platform, Airbus’ new geostationary
telecommunications satellite product, a significant evolution of the highly reliable and successful
Eurostar series with an entire range of major innovations. These include an X band fully flexible
payload, employing active antennas with in orbit reconfiguration capability, an onboard digital
processor that will interconnect the X and mil-Ka band payloads for cross-banding, and a
dedicated high speed service link enabling fast re-configuration. This will result in a greater
capacity, and increased flexibility allowing for electronic reorientation of the beams depending on the coverage needs.
Hisdesat is the owner and operator of the new generation of communication satellites, SPAINSATNG.