LONDON — The Brazilian government intends to pursue development of two telecommunications satellites carrying X- and Ka-band payloads for military and civil government use but likely will miss the program’s announced schedule, a senior Brazilian Defense Ministry official said Nov. 30.
Lt. Col. Luciano Martins Menna, head of telematics at the ministry, said the 2014 launch date for the first of the satellites is probably too optimistic. But he said the program has the backing of the Brazilian administration and will go forward as a joint effort of the defense and communications ministries.
No contract has yet been signed for the satellites, although Martins Menna said a budget has been made available. Brazil’s Star One commercial satellite fleet operator has questioned whether a separate government satellite effort will not upset the currently healthy commercial market.
Brazilian military authorities in early November completed a test using France’s Syracuse military satellite telecommunications system to establish X-band links with Brazilian naval vessels off Africa’s coast.
Martins Menna said the Brazilian military satellites would cover South America. For communications outside the region, Brazilian forces will rely on one or more international partnerships that have not yet been concluded.