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EDA's SATCOM pooling project enters next phase

21st January 2019 - 13:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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The European Defence Agency’s (EDA's) Governmental Satellite Communications (GOVSATCOM) Pooling and Sharing Demonstration project entered into the execution phase on 15 January.

The project is now ready to provide GOVSATCOM services to member states and the European Common Security and Defence Policy members through pooled capabilities (including bandwidth/power and/or services) provided by contributing member states. This pooled capability is set up to provide SATCOM resources that cannot be obtained on the commercial market with sufficient level of guaranteed access and security.

The project complements the EDA’s EU Satcom Market project, already in place since 2012, which provides commercially available SATCOM and CIS services.

SATCOM is rapidly deployable, flexible and distance insensitive and can offer communication links where terrestrial networks are damaged, overloaded or non-existent. However, access to SATCOM cannot be taken for granted at any time, especially not when governmental users require them at short notice and without pre-arranged agreements. In situations of high demand, competition with other users of commercial SATCOM capacities creates a risk of non-availability and high costs. Against this backdrop, EU leaders decided in 2013 that there was a need for a new solution combining the advantages of commercial and military satellite systems in order to address both civil and military needs through European cooperation.

Under the project led by Spain, all 15 contributing EDA member states (Spain, Austria, Belgium, Germany, Estonia, Greece, France, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, Sweden and the UK) accepted the project arrangement as baseline for mutual support and collaboration. Norway is also contributing to the project.

The project is a collaborative effort between the EDA, the European Commission and the European Space Agency.

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