Belgium: Astrium bagged a three year contract from the European Defence Agency (EDA) to provide commercial satellite communications capacity for European military needs. This contract will be managed by the EDA’s newly established procurement cell, the ESCPC (European Satellite Communications Procurement Cell).
Astrium Services will provide the EDA with satellite communications in commercial bands (C, Ku and Ka) for European military needs, and associated value added services including lease of terminals, anchoring and backhauling, worldwide. The ESCPC will allow the European Union member states to pool their needs, purchase and even switch satellite communication capacity between themselves, in a coordinated manner, ultimately ensuring the best and most cost effective access to satcom services. To date, five contributing member states (France, Italy, Poland, Romania and the United Kingdom) have decided to join the ESCPC to benefit from cost savings for their commercial satcoms needs. Astrium Services will offer its one-stop-shop 24/7 expertise to manage and execute a complete service catalogue for the delivery of the upcoming orders placed by EDA on behalf of the contributing member states.
Eric Béranger, CEO of Astrium Services, said, “As a commercial company and a pioneer in providing milsatcoms to governments and defence ministries, we are very proud to be the first to provide commercial satellite communications to the European Defence Agency through such an innovative scheme. Being European, Astrium Services is fully engaged in making a significant contribution to European defence.”
Satellite communications are critical operational enablers that link both command and control systems and intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and targeting systems. Demand is growing significantly, particularly with the widespread use of data rate hungry applications such as drones (RPAS, Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems) on the battlefields, which require significant satcoms capacity for control and transmission of data from sensors.