France, Italy Launch Athena-Fidus Military Broadband Satellite

By Amy Svitak
Source: Aviation Week & Space Technology
February 17, 2014
Credit: Arianespace

What European Union institutions hope to achieve in sharing military satellite communications in the distant future, France and Italy are doing right now: Joint development, construction and launch of a common milsatcom architecture, a two-satellite system that is already saving both nations money, while paving the way for broader European cooperation down the road.

Such collaboration has been an ostensible goal among European governments for many years. But despite the clear financial advantages of sharing space-based assets, five European governments—Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Spain—have maintained separate, independent military communications satellite infrastructures.

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