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Arianespace to launch new military satellite for France, Italy


EVRY, FRANCE (BNS): European aerospace company Arianespace will launch a new-generation military telecommunications satellite for the French and Italian armed forces in 2013.

The company said it has signed a service and solutions launch contract with Telespazio -- a joint venture entity between Finmeccanica (Italy) and Thales Alenia Space (France) -- to orbit the new-generation 'Sicral 2' military telecommunications satellite by November 2013.

The new satellite, with a liftoff mass of around 4,400 kg, will be launched by an Ariane 5 rocket from the Guiana Space Center in French Guiana.

Sicral 2 will provide strategic and tactical telecommunications links for the French and Italian military forces. In addition, it will offer reserve telecommunications capacity for other NATO countries.

While France's Thales will build and integrate the new satellite, Rome-based Telespazio will be responsible for launch service management and operations for the satellite’s orbital positioning, commissioning and in orbit test.

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