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Italy commits more funds to second-generation radar satellites

28 August 2014

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The Italian government's agreement to commit another 66.6 million euros ($88 million) to the design of a second-generation Cosmo-SkyMed radar satellite system will keep the program moving forward but does not assure it will be completed in time to assure continuity with the first-generation system, Italian government and industry officials said.

Thales Alenia Space, Cosmo-SkyMed's prime contractor, announced 27 Aug. that it and its sister company, ground services provider Telespazio, had received contracts valued at 43.6 million euros and 23 million euros, respectively, to continue designing the two-satellite system.

But a substantial new funding commitment will be needed before the end of the year if the satellites are to be launched in 2017 and 2018, a date that Thales Alenia Space and the Italian Space Agency (ASI) agree would assure no gaps in coverage between the first- and second-generation systems.

ASI President Roberto Battiston said after the contract was signed that "it is essential that the first satellite be operational by 2017 and the second by 2018."

Source: Space News

Image credit: Festivaldella Scienza - ASI President Roberto Battiston

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