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Belgium MoD hands over satcom test and research facility

Belgian MoD has handed over satellite communications test and research facility to the NATO Communications and Information Agency. (NCIA)

The Belgian Ministry of Defence (MoD) has handed over a satellite communications (satcom) technical test and research facility on 17 February to the NATO Communications and Information Agency (NCIA), the Belgian MoD announced on 21 February.

The facility, located in Camp Casteau in Mons, Belgium, will serve as the engineering test and research facility for NATO satcom, and will also conduct experimentation, research and development for future capabilities, the announcement stated.

The site cost a total of EUR2.2 (USD2.5 million) and 273 working days to build, Giovanni Durando, satcom service area owner at the NCIA informed Janes .

The capabilities tested in this facility could be used in NATO's satellite ground stations in Belgium, Greece, Italy, and Turkey, the announcement added.

NCIA General Manager Ludwig Decamps stated at the opening ceremony that “this new [NCIA] satcom technical facility will add capability across several frequency bands. All of these capabilities, which were previously dispersed, will now be merged under one roof in this new building. This will significantly improve the agency's ability to support NATO operations and exercises, as well as scientific engineering work needed during projects and future capability development”.

Durando added that the facility has the capability to test new terminals and antennas, such as the transportable or deployable satellite ground terminals, to help verify compliancy with ground and space segment specifications. According to Durando, the Mons site will also be used to test multiple NATO satellites, including ground-based satcom terminals, and other systems.

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