MilSat Services, a company set up by EADS Space Services and ND SatCom, is to supply the German military with Stage 2 of its satellite communications system, SatcomBw.

The aim of the SatcomBw programme is to provide Germany's armed forces with a secure multimedia network via dedicated military communications satellites. The system is due to start regular operation in 2009. The contract runs for 10 years and there is an option to extend it for a further 7.5 years.

Along with the in-orbit delivery of two communications satellites for operations in military frequencies (SHF/UHF), the Stage 2 contract includes their operation, the delivery of a ground user terminal segment and upgrading the existing network management centre. MilSat Services will also provide commercial transmission capacities using Intelsat satellites and anchoring services using new large ground stations.

Both SatcomBw satellites will be positioned in geostationary orbit and will provide communication services over an area stretching from America to eastern Asia, during their operational life of 15 years. The German Aerospace Centre (DLR) will assume responsibility for operating the two satellites at several of its locations. In addition to that, DLR will channel important parts of the user traffic via its ground installations.