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Satnews Daily
July 30th, 2018

Consortium Combines the Expertise of Thales Alenia Space and SSL to Further Telesat's LEO Constellation

Thales Alenia Space, a Joint Venture between Thales (67 percent) and Leonardo (33 percent), and SSL, a Maxar Technologies company (NYSE: MAXR; TSX: MAXR), have signed a consortium agreement to pursue the development and manufacture of Telesat’s highly advanced global LEO satellite constellation and end-to-end system.

In addition the consortium, led by Thales Alenia Space, just announced, that they have also been awarded a contract by Telesat for a System Design and Risk Management Project for the Telesat LEO constellation. Telesat selected the Thales Alenia Space / Maxar consortium for its LEO design phase based on the consortium’s compelling proposal for the end-to-end system, the maturity of the required technologies, and the competitiveness of its solution.

The three companies will work together on the design of the end-to-end system, including satellites, gateways, user terminals, operations centers, and ground network. Telesat will provide funding during this phase and anticipates selecting a prime contractor, either the Thales Alenia Space / Maxar consortium or an alternate team, in mid-2019 for Telesat’s LEO program — space segment, ground segment and system integration.

Artistic rendition of Telesat's LEO constellation. Image is courtesy of Telesat.

Telesat’s LEO constellation will transform global communications by offering an unsurpassed combination of capacity, speed, security, resiliency and low cost with latency performance that is as good or better than the most advanced terrestrial networks. These capabilities will be available globally and will enable Telesat LEO to become a core component in satisfying many of the world’s most challenging communications requirements.

Telesat LEO will accelerate 5G expansion, end the digital divide with fiber-like high speed services into rural and remote communities, and establish new levels of performance for commercial and government broadband on land, sea and in the air. The Thales Alenia Space / Maxar consortium brings proven experience, industrial capability and a strong supplier base for fully integrated communications satellite systems, including payload antenna design, on-board processing and LEO satellite production.

The companies have formed fully integrated teams across multiple work streams located in France, the U.S. and Canada in order to apply the consortium’s very best talent to every task. The Thales Alenia Space / Maxar solution will enable Telesat’s LEO constellation to deliver for its customers multi- Terabits of highly secure, low latency communications around the globe at the most competitive cost.

Executive Comments

Martin Van Schaik, SVP Sales and Marketing at Thales Alenia Space noted that this consortium is the occasion for the company to prove, once again, its expertise in this area.

Dario Zamarian, Group President, SSL, added that Telesat LEO will be a game changer for the satellite industry. For Maxar Technologies, participation in the consortium with Thales Alenia Space demonstrates the value of the SSL and MDA businesses working together to bring integrated solutions that drive competitive advantages for satellite operators such as Telesat.