New phase for the European program MUSIS
The European program MUSIS (MUltinational Space-based Imaging System) is facing a new phase that will allow the creation of a real joint network of satellites for surveillance and reconnaissance. Finmeccanica participates at the program with a primary role through the companies of the Space Alliance: Thales Alenia Space and Telespazio.
Thales Alenia Space Italy has signed with OCCAR-EA, the Organization of the Joint Armaments Cooperation, a contract that will ensure the operative connection between the Italian dual system Second Generation Cosmo-SkyMed and the French military system Composante Spatiale Optique.
The contract, which will run for ten months and worth EUR 2.5 million, aims to consolidate what was designed in the previous phase of the MUSIS program defining all the technical features necessary for the future implementation of the Common Interoperability Layer (CIL) to ensure the interoperability of the Italian and French systems, and performing a detailed cost analysis supporting the decision-making process for the next phase of the program implementation.
As for the previous phase of the program, Thales Alenia Space Italy was confirmed as representative for the Temporary Business Grouping (RTI), which also includes Airbus Defence and Space, and will be responsible for the technical coordination of the study activities. Telespazio will also participate in activities as sub-contractor of Thales Alenia Space Italy.
Established in 2006 to respond to the needs of military observation of six European countries, Italy, France, Germany, Belgium, Spain and Greece, the MUSIS program had the initial goal to develop a unified system that would guarantee mutual access between national systems for defense observation, and therefore optical and radar observation data (SAR, Synthetic Aperture Radar), In light of the different operational requirements and timing regarding the development of some national programs, it became necessary to adopt a more pragmatic view of the program. The Ministries of Defense of Italy and France have decided to carry on, through a bilateral agreement, by creating a Common Interoperability Layer (CIL). The development of the CIL is closely related to next-generation systems of COSMO-SkyMed Second Generation and Composante Spatiale Optique, whose objective is to strengthen national capabilities for defense and security by reducing at the same time the operating costs. Its strategic value also should be framed in a wider European perspective, given its potential expansion to other countries participating in the MUSIS program.
The development of the second generation COSMO-SkyMed represents for Italy a high strategic value, not only at national level but also in a wider European context, as it can become an important instrument of cooperation between the Defenses of the participating countries. The agreements already in place with France and Poland testify how Italy clearly following a clear policy of European cooperation.