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Luxembourg contributes satellite capacity to NATO through GovSat in the context of the Alliance Ground Surveillance system

Published Tuesday November 08 2016

As part of Luxembourg’s defense spending effort, the Luxembourg-SES GovSat joint venture is going to provide satellite capacity for NATO’s Alliance Ground Surveillance system (AGS). On 7 November 2016, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defense Etienne Schneider signed a long-term contract with LuxGovSat SA to that effect.
The AGS system consists of air, ground and support elements performing all-weather, persistent wide-area terrestrial and maritime surveillance in near real-time. AGS will be able to contribute to a range of missions such as protection of ground troops and civilian populations, border control and maritime safety, the fight against terrorism, crisis management and humanitarian assistance in areas affected by natural disasters.
The contract of GovSat with NATO is for an end-to-end service and includes the delivery of satellite capacity in commercial Ku-band - largely coming from the SES fleet - as well as associated capacity management services. These services support the command & control and sensor data communications required by NATO Global Hawk vehicles over the AGS operational area.
GovSat is a public-private partnership between the Luxembourg Government and SES. It offers capacity leases and related 24/7 secure operations from facilities with EU and NATO clearances to governments and institutions. Its first satellite, GovSat-1, is currently under construction and scheduled for launch in 2017.
“The award of this NATO contract to GovSat confirms the unique capability of GovSat to address the secure communication requirements of a NATO defence program, including the handling of sensitive and classified material,” said Patrick Biewer, CEO of GovSat. “GovSat is now de-facto operational, well ahead of the GovSat-1 satellite launch which is foreseen for next year.”
“The contract between the Luxembourg Government and GovSat once more illustrates Luxembourg’s know-how in the satellite industry, and allows the Grand Duchy to contribute, in the context of its international commitments, to an essential need of NATO in the field of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.”, said Etienne Schneider.