Programme kickoff for Turkey’s Göktürk satellite system, supplied by Telespazio and Thales Alenia Space

Gök­türk is the first export con­tract for high res­o­lu­tion opti­cal obser­va­tion satel­lites.
Gök­türk and Sicral 2, award­ed last May, are the last two major pro­grammes built in the frame of the Space Alliance.

Cannes — Telespazio and Thales Ale­nia Space today announced the offi­cial start of the Gök­türk obser­va­tion satel­lite sys­tem for the Turk­ish Min­istry of Defense. The orig­i­nal con­tract was signed by Telespazio and the Turk­ish Defense Min­istry in 2009, and the pro­gramme now offi­cial­ly enters the design and con­struc­tion phase. Satel­lite launch is planned for 2013. 

Telespazio, a Finmeccanica/Thales com­pa­ny, is the prime con­trac­tor for the sys­tem, which com­pris­es an Earth obser­va­tion satel­lite equipped with a high-res­o­lu­tion opti­cal sen­sor, a satel­lite inte­gra­tion and test cen­ter to be built in Turkey, and the com­plete ground seg­ment, in charge of mis­sion con­trol, in-orbit oper­a­tion, data acqui­si­tion and pro­cess­ing. Local indus­tri­al part­ners include Tai A.S., Asel­san A.S., Tubitak Uekae, Roket­san A.S. and TR Tecnoloji. 

Telespazio will also cre­ate a joint ven­ture with a local part­ner to devel­op and mar­ket appli­ca­tion services. 

Car­lo Gual­da­roni, CEO of Telespazio, said: “The Gök­türk Sys­tem rep­re­sents anoth­er step for­ward for Telespazio and for the Space Alliance between Fin­mec­ca­ni­ca and Thales in the inter­na­tion­al expan­sion of their busi­ness. It also clear­ly rec­og­nizes Telespazio’s abil­i­ty to sup­ply both the space and ground seg­ments of com­plex satel­lite systems.” 

Thales Ale­nia Space will build the satel­lite and devel­op an inte­gra­tion and test cen­ter in Turkey. Telespazio, in addi­tion to the ground seg­ment, is respon­si­ble for ser­vices dur­ing the satel­lite launch, ear­ly orbit and test phase. Turk­ish indus­try will be involved in the sys­tem design and devel­op­ment, as well as sup­ply­ing some Gök­türk sys­tem com­po­nents. In par­tic­u­lar, local part­ners will assist in the con­struc­tion of the data acqui­si­tion sta­tion, the satel­lite inte­gra­tion cen­ter, mis­sion plan­ning sys­tems and remote sens­ing data processors. 

Rey­nald Seznec, Pres­i­dent and CEO of Thales Ale­nia Space said: “Our selec­tion to build the Gök­türk satel­lite is a sig­nif­i­cant achieve­ment for our com­pa­ny, and reflects the strat­e­gy we have devel­oped with Telespazio, through the Space Alliance, to offer end-to-end solu­tions for the space mar­ket, rang­ing from com­plete sys­tems to ser­vices. This suc­cess also expands our posi­tion in Turkey, a long-stand­ing cus­tomer in telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions. This is our first export con­tract for a high-res­o­lu­tion opti­cal obser­va­tion satel­lite, fur­ther show­ing our unique array of exper­tise and rep­u­ta­tion as a pre­ferred part­ner in defense obser­va­tion missions.” 

Derived from the Pro­teus plat­form devel­oped by Thales Ale­nia Space, the Gök­türk satel­lite will include a high-res­o­lu­tion opti­cal instru­ment, sim­i­lar to that used in the Pleiades program. 

About Telespazio
Telespazio, a joint ven­ture between Fin­mec­ca­ni­ca (67%) and Thales (33%), is a world leader in satel­lite ser­vices: from man­age­ment of satel­lites to Earth obser­va­tion ser­vices, from satel­lite nav­i­ga­tion to broad­band mul­ti­me­dia telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions. Telespazio plays a lead­ing role in the ref­er­ence mar­kets har­ness­ing tech­no­log­i­cal expe­ri­ence acquired over the years and through its par­tic­i­pa­tion in major Euro­pean space pro­grams such as: GALILEO, EGNOS, GMES and COS­MO-SkyMed. The com­pa­ny in 2009 gen­er­at­ed sales of Euro 372 mil­lion, and employed around 2,000 staff.

About Thales Ale­nia Space
Euro­pean leader in satel­lite sys­tems and a major play­er in orbital infra­struc­tures, Thales Ale­nia Space is a joint ven­ture between Thales (67%) and Fin­mec­ca­ni­ca (33%). Thales Ale­nia Space and Telespazio embody the two groups’ “Space Alliance”. Thales Ale­nia Space sets the glob­al stan­dard in solu­tions for space tele­coms, radar and opti­cal Earth obser­va­tion, defense and secu­ri­ty, nav­i­ga­tion and sci­ence. The com­pa­ny, which achieved rev­enues of Euro 2 bil­lion in 2008, has a total of 7,200 employ­ees locat­ed in 11 indus­tri­al sites in France, Italy, Spain and Bel­gium.

Thales Ale­nia Space Press Con­tacts
Flo­rence Pon­tieux — Tel: +33 (0)1 57 77 91 26

San­drine Bielec­ki — Tel: +33 (0)4 92 92 70 94

Telespazio Press Con­tact
Pao­lo Mazzetti — Tel: +39 06 4079 6252


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