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Alcatel collaborates with prime contractor Thales on the Syracuse III ground segment

02 December 2004

The French defense procurement agency DGA announced today that it has awarded Thales the contract for the construction of the Syracuse III ground segment. Alcatel Space, a subsidiary of Alcatel (Paris: CGEP.PA and NYSE: ALA), is the main subcontractor to Thales for this project. The overall contract is worth 1.3 billion euros over a period of 15 years, of which 30% represents Alcatel's portion.

The Syracuse III ground segment is a vital complement to the space segment, providing all French armed forces, in France or deployed abroad, with high-speed, reconfigurable and secure satellite communications.

The contract includes the construction of 600 new ground stations, both land- and ship-based. They will provide data-rates and mobility performance tailored to requirements, facilitated by the power and flexibility of the Syracuse satellites.

Alcatel Space is working closely with Thales, the ground segment prime contractor. Alcatel Space is responsible for adapting the fixed ground stations in France, a portion of the tactical ground stations and will also participate in construction of the large very-high-rate mobile ground stations and the naval stations. For the first time in a military system, Alcatel Space will implement an ADSL broadband satellite solution, the distribution network, based on civilian sector developments in satellite-based Internet access.

A joint success for Thales and Alcatel, this latest contract ensures the continuity of the Syracuse military satellite communications program, for which the DGA originally named Alcatel as prime contractor, associated with Thales, in November 2000, after competitive bidding. It further consolidates Alcatel Space's leadership in the military satellite communications ("milsatcom") sector, by confirming its strong position in both satellites and ground systems. Alcatel Space is also active in the civil-military satellite export market, through Koreasat 5 in South Korea and Star One C1 in Brazil.

At the same time, this contract confirms the importance of the defense sector for Alcatel Space. Alcatel Space continues to invest in this strategic market alongside its position in the commercial telecommunications market.

The Syracuse constellation comprises two new-generation satellites, Syracuse 3A and 3B. Starting in 2005, they will be the first in the world to supply secure, high-speed and fully reconfigurable X-band links.

NATO's C3 agency recently chose a European joint consortium, including Syracuse, Skynet (Britain) and Sicral (Italy), over an American competitor, to provide SHF (super high frequency) communications for member countries, within the scope of the post-2000 NATO Satcom program.

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