Thales Alenia Space will build and test a broadband civil and military telecommunications satellite, Athena-Fidus, for the French and Italian space agencies, CNES and ASI.

The Athena-Fidus (access on theatres for European allied forces nations-French Italian dual-use satellite) includes a geostationary satellite operating in the Ka and EHF bands, and its associated ground control segment.

The satellite, based on a Spacebus 4000 B2 platform program, will weigh over 3mt at launch and shall carry two payloads, one each for France and Italy.

The spacecraft will use high-performance civil communications standards, DVB-RCS and DBV-S2 to augment transmission capacity and service.

Athena-Fidus will be used by French and Italian civil security agencies, including homeland security, police and fire departments, and their defence ministries, and will support the existing Syracuse and Sicral systems.

The satellite, designed for a life of 15 years, is expected to be launched by Arianespace in 2013.