Brazil, Thales Alenia Space Ink Satellite and Tech Transfer Contracts

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PARIS — The Brazilian Space Agency, AEB, on Dec. 12 signed a five-year technology-transfer contract with Franco-Italian satellite manufacturer Thales Alenia Space as part of a wider partnership that includes a commercial contract under which Thales Alenia Space will build a civil-military telecommunications satellite.

Both contracts were signed in Brasilia, Brazil, during a French-Brazilian summit.

The satellite contract calls for Thales Alenia Space to build Brazil’s SGDC X- and Ka-band telecommunications satellite in time for a launch, aboard a European Ariane 5 rocket, in late 2016 or early 2017.

The 5,800-kilogram satellite will carry seven X-band transponders and 50 Ka-band transponders with a total throughput of 80 gigabits per second. The Ka-band payload will be used by the Brazilian government to extend Internet access throughout the country.

The manufacturing contract, valued at about 1.3 billion reals, or $558 million including the satellite’s launch and ground infrastructure, was signed with Visiona Space Technology, a new joint-venture company created by Brazil’s Telebras telecommunications provider and aerospace hardware manufacturer Embraer.

A separate contract between Thales Alenia Space and AEB, valued at about $80 million, calls for specific technology-transfer efforts in satellite telecommunications, Earth observation and meteorology for five years, Thales Alenia Space said.

Technology transfer to help Brazil’s industry develop its space manufacturing capability was a key component of the SGDC competition.

“The agreement will provide a solid basis for joint developments as well as a long-term strategic partnership,” Thales Alenia Space said in a statement.