EU Commission invites tenders for new satellite constellation with military applications
The private-public partnership will ensure common investment in the design, development, deployment and operation of government and commercial infrastructure.
IRIS² aims to provide EU member states with guaranteed access to secure, sovereign, and global connectivity services to protect critical infrastructure, surveillance, and military applications, among other uses.
The communications will use advanced encryption technology, including quantum cryptography.
The tender is the step towards implementing the constellation, which will benefit from an EU budget contribution of €2.4 billion ($2,5 billion).
The EU envisages full operating capability for governmental services in 2027.
The EU Commission said: ‘The current geopolitical context demonstrates how crucial space-based sovereign and secure communication services are in times of crises.
‘This ambition can only be achieved by combining the driving force of the public sector and the know-how of the private sector.’
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