Airbus, in collaboration with Thales Alenia Space, has successfully launched the SYRACUSE 4B satellite, a secure military communications satellite, from the Guiana Space Center in French Guiana. This launch marks the final mission of the Ariane 5, the European heavy launcher.
The SYRACUSE 4B satellite joins the SYRACUSE 4A satellite in orbit, together forming the space component of SYRACUSE IV, the fourth generation secure military satellite communications system. This system is intended for use by the French Armament General Directorate (DGA), the French Air and Space Force, and the French Space Command. Airbus Defence and Space and Thales Alenia Space have led the creation of this system as an industrial consortium.
The SYRACUSE 4A and 4B satellites are expected to provide an improved service for the French Armed Forces. This includes higher throughput, increased flexibility, and expanded coverage area. The increased flexibility of the satellites will ensure that the needs of forces deployed within the coverage area are met, while efficiently managing its X-band and Ka-band resources.
Jean-Marc Nasr, Head of Space Systems at Airbus, emphasized the importance of the satellite for national security. He stated that secure communications across key theaters of operation are crucial for a nation’s autonomy and freedom of action.
“Airbus is proud to be a trusted partner of the French Armed Forces and supports national ambitions and capabilities in these fields.”
The SYRACUSE 4B satellite was developed on Airbus’ Eurostar E3000 platform. It is fully electric and equipped with in-orbit proximity surveillance. It carries the same payload as the SYRACUSE 4A satellite, which was built by Thales Alenia Space with key components provided by Airbus. The satellite features essential technologies such as anti-jamming for service continuity and resilience, as well as cybersecurity and data encryption technologies.
Airbus was responsible for the SYRACUSE 4B satellite as part of the global SYRACUSE co-contract. Thales Alenia Space was responsible for the SYRACUSE 4A satellite and both payloads, with Airbus providing critical components.
The SYRACUSE 4B satellite represents a prime example of pan-European industrial cooperation. In addition to guaranteeing French sovereignty, the satellite is designed to support operations led by NATO and other allied nations, strengthening international military collaboration and interoperability. The successful launch of the satellite marks a significant milestone in military communication capabilities, positioning Airbus and Thales Alenia Space as leaders in secure satellite communication technology.