06 July 2023 – The SYRACUSE 4B communications satellite, built by Airbus and Thales Alenia Space, has been successfully launched from the Guiana Space Center, Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. It was the last launch of Ariane 5, the European heavy launcher.
SYRACUSE 4B, along with SYRACUSE 4A already in orbit, constitutes the space segment of SYRACUSE IV, the fourth generation secure military satellite communications system for the French Armament General Directorate (DGA – Direction Générale de l’Armement), the French Air and Space force and the French Space Command, built by the industrial consortium formed by Airbus Defence and Space and Thales Alenia Space.
SYRACUSE 4A and 4B will deliver increased capacity and enhanced functionality for the French Armed Forces, including higher throughput and flexibility, along with a broader coverage area. The increased flexibility will ensure the satellites can meet the needs of forces deployed anywhere in the coverage area, while also efficiently managing its X-band and Ka-band resources.
“Observation, signal intelligence, space situational awareness, and of course secure communications across key theatres of operation, are paramount for a nation’s autonomy and freedom of action. Airbus is proud to be a trusted partner of the French Armed Forces: thanks to SYRACUSE 4B, and other programmes, we support our national ambitions and capabilities in all these fields, today and in the decades to come!” said Jean-Marc Nasr, Head of Space Systems at Airbus.
SYRACUSE 4B, built on Airbus’ Eurostar E3000 platform, in its full-electric variant and equipped with in-orbit proximity surveillance, is embarking the same payload as SYRACUSE 4A, built by Thales Alenia Space with key components provided by Airbus.
SYRACUSE 4B features critical technologies such as anti-jamming, to guarantee service continuity and resilience, cyber-defence and data encryption technologies.
In the frame of the global SYRACUSE co-contract, Airbus is responsible for the SYRACUSE 4B satellite. Thales Alenia Space was responsible for SYRACUSE 4A satellite as well as both payloads with key component provided by Airbus.
The satellite, a true example of pan-European industrial cooperation, will guarantee French sovereignty, while also being able to support operations led by NATO and other allied nations.
Image courtesy Airbus