SES Satellite: Big coup for Thales Alenia space

Could it be Christmas ahead of time for Thales? Thales Alenia Space (TAS), a joint venture owned by French Group (67%) and Italian Leonardo (33%), won an order for two satellites from Luxembourg giant SES on Thursday, November 18. , The first global satellite operator. The first machine, the Astra 1P, will be based on the SpaceBus Neo platform, which has already been proven in orbit (Konnect, SES-17 satellite). The second satellite, Astra 1Q, will be based on the brand new Space Inspire platform, a range of smaller and fully reconfigurable satellites in orbit launched at the end of 2019. This is the first order for this platform for Thales, which thus sees its The idea is validated by one of the most prestigious players on the market. Both satellites will be launched in 2024.

The deal is good news for TAS’s French factories. The Toulouse factory will design the payload, and the Kan site will perform the final assembly and testing. If the order quantity is not specified, the cost of a telecom satellite is usually between থেকে 200 and 300 300 million. “We are honored that SES Thales Alenia renews its confidence in space to build SES-17, en route to its geostationary orbit, as well as the SES-22 and SES-23 satellites, which are currently under construction. Our clean room,” said Harvey, CEO of Thales Alenia Space. Derry says.

The deal ensures a wonderful 2021 year for the Franco-Italian champions in the fierce competition of telecom satellites in geostationary orbit (36,000 km). Cannes Group (1.85 billion euros in 2020, 7,700 employees) has ordered three satellites in the commercial market (Astra 1P, Astra 1Q and the Indonesian satellite HTS 113BT), which have been leading the world order since the beginning of the year, Airbus Defense and Space (two orders). And ahead of American Maxer (two deals). Adding the two military telecommunications satellites Cycle 3A and Cycle 3B ordered by the Italian Ministry of Defense, TAS has even reached the number of five satellites ordered. At the height of its activity in 2018, the group won only one order, forcing the group to start an exit plan of 450 locations.

Renewal range

Outside of CAS alone, the entire French satellite industry is in an unhealthy state. Adding orders from Airbus and Thales, France-based players show a market share of more than 70% of order acceptance in 2021. The Americans are fighting for the moment: Maxer had only two orders, none from Boeing and Northrop Grumman. By 2020, TAS and Airbus had reached about 35% market share, which was already a good number.

Why such a good performance? First, because the telecom satellite market has grown again, after years of frustration: after going down in 2017 (8 satellites have been ordered worldwide), the segment has reached 22 orders in 2020. The second reason: Airbus and Thales were able to move to Overdrive to compete with their American rivals. After a slow start, they forcibly marched on electric, and no longer chemical, propulsion satellites, which makes it possible to build more powerful and less heavy satellites.

They have renewed their range with 100% digital satellites, which can be reconfigured in orbit. Clearly, where older generation devices were dedicated to a market (TV broadcasting, Internet connection) and a geographic area, the OneSat (Airbus) and Space Inspire (Thales) range satellites can be switched from one to another. Smaller than conventional satellites required, OneSat and Space Inspire satellites are also 50% cheaper.

Order for Ariane 6

The SES agreement marks a successful week for the European space sector. On Wednesday 17 November, Australian operator SingTel Optus ordered the launch of Ariane 6 for its Optus-11 satellite. Something to boost the morale of a European industry deeply destabilized by the SpaceX Tornado.

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