By Bill Ostrove, Space Systems Analyst, Forecast International.
Thales Alenia Space has signed a new phase of the contract for the COSMO-SkyMed Second Generation (CSG) satellite program with the Italian Space Agency (ASI). The new phase is worth EUR182 million ($204.5 million), with Thales Alenia Space receiving 85 percent – EUR154 million ($173 million) – of the total and Telespazio 15 percent – EUR28 million ($31.5 million). Thales Alenia Space is prime contractor for the COSMO-SkyMed program, in charge of building the space segment consisting of two CSG satellites, while Telespazio is responsible for developing the ground segment and integrated logistics for operations.
This latest contract will start Phase C4/D1 of the program, which entails detailed system design and manufacture of two satellites as well as ground systems.[i] It is a follow-on to the Phase C3 contract awarded in August 2014, worth EUR66 million ($74.1 million). During Phase C3, Thales Alenia Space completed system design and basic technological development for the two satellites, while Telespazio did the same for the ground segment.[ii]
The contract signed on September 2 covers the completion of the first satellite and development of the entire ground segment, as well as procurement of equipment needed for the construction of the second satellite.
The development schedule for CSG will be tight. The first COSMO-SkyMed satellite was launched in 2007 and is expected to cease operations in the mid- to late-2010s. To guarantee service continuity with COSMO-SkyMed first-generation satellites, Thales Alenia Space recommends that the first second-generation satellite be launched and operational by the first half of 2018, and the second satellite by the first half of 2019. To meet this deadline, Thales Alenia Space needs financing of the entire system to be completed by early 2016.
For more information about COSMO-SkyMed and other satellites, check out Forecast International’s Satellites & Spacecraft. This product tracks the status of approximately 85 space systems around the globe, from formulation to deployment. Individual reports identify program sponsors, prime contractors, and subcontractors, and provide details on recently awarded contracts. Completing each report is a production forecast along with a supporting Forecast Rationale. The service covers all sectors of the industry – from microsatellites up to large communications satellites and interplanetary spacecraft.