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France to order large number of Satcom stations in 2023 for Syracuse IV

The French 2023 defence budget details a requirement for 55 Satcom stations for Syracuse IV. Pictured is the Syracuse 4A satellite. (Thales Alenia Space)

The French military will procure a large number of satellite communication (Satcom) ground stations for the Syracuse IV constellation in 2023.

According to the French Armed Forces 2023 defence bill (Projet de loi de finances des Armées 2023 - LPM année 5), announced on 5 October, the French military will acquire 55 Satcom ground stations for the Syracuse IV constellation.

The French Army will receive 36 Satcom ground stations while the navy will receive 19. In addition to this, the air and space force will receive 10 “theatre hubs” for Syracuse IV, the budget noted.

A French Armed Forces spokesperson told Janes that the theatre hubs are “a deployable ground station with a large capacity. In particular, it makes it possible to aggregate the traffic of smaller stations deployed in the same area, and thus optimise the use of the satellite's space resource”.

The budget also detailed “new” areas of funding, which included EUR702 million (USD688.20 million) earmarked for the space domain and EUR288 million for the cyber domain.

Syracuse is the French military Satcom programme that started in 1980. The Syracuse IV programme, launched in 2015 and valued at EUR3.6 billion, involves the complete renewal of the Syracuse III satellites and ground stations. Airbus Defence and Space and Thales Alenia Space are prime contractors.

More than 400 ground stations are planned as part of Syracuse IV, the new stations will be more powerful, sovereign, mobile, and better secured than the current version, enabling more users to connect simultaneously, a French Armed Forces Syracuse IV report stated.

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