EMS Defense & Space will provide low-weight Ka-band low-noise amplifier gear for the Franco-Italian Athena-Fidus civil-military satellite under a contract with the satellite’s prime contractor, Thales Alenia Space of France and Italy, Atlanta-based EMS announced July 7.

EMS said the hardware will permit Athena-Fidus controllers to adjust power and coverage for high-demand regions. The company said its redundant low-noise amplifier offers weight savings of 50-60 percent compared to other switching technologies.

Thales Alenia Space is building Athena-Fidus under a contract valued at 280 million euros ($392 million) that includes a ground control center in France and the satellite’s launch by either a Europeanized Russian Soyuz rocket or as a co-passenger on Europe’s heavy-lift Ariane 5 vehicle. The contract, signed in early 2010, targeted a late-2013 launch date.