Franco-Italian space cooperation
In the context of the European process to boost multilateral defence integration, Laurent Collet-Billon, Délégué général pour l’armement, and Claudio Debertolis, [Italian] Secretary General of Defence and National Armaments Director, announced on 20 June 2011 at the Paris International Air Show the imminent signature of two contracts in the field of space:
an additional phase to the contract awarded in August 2010 to Thales Alenia Space Italia to produce the Sicral 2 military communications satellite, which will be brought into service at the beginning of 2014.
a contract setting out the interoperability of the MUSIS ground segments of the CSO (Optical Space Component, the successor to Helios) and CSG (COSMO-SkyMed Second Generation) satellites. The contract, managed by OCCAR [Organization for Joint Armament Cooperation], will be signed in the next few days with a consortium consisting of EADS Astrium France, Thales Alenia Space France and Thales Alenia Space Italia.
These contracts fall within the framework of very dynamic cooperation between France and Italy, especially in the fields of space, shipbuilding (frigates), air defence missile systems, the Advanced European Jet Pilot Training (AEJPT) programme and software-defined radio tactical communications.
France and Italy, who have been leading partners in the armaments field for several decades, are thus strengthening their bilateral relations, whilst remaining committed to building Europe and reinforcing NATO’s military capability./.