"The overnight liftoff of Sea Launch's Zenit 3SL rocket carrying Italy's SICRAL 1B military communications satellite occurred ontime at 0816 GMT (4:16 a.m. EDT) from a floating platform in the equatorial Pacific. It will take about two hours to reach the planned orbit for deployment of the spacecraft." - Space Flight Now
"The construction of the dual-use Italsat 3000 SICRAL 1B spacecraft involved Thales Alenia Space's Italian and French entities, with the spacecraft being built and tested in Cannes, France, and integrated in Turin, Italy. The Satellite Integration Center in Rome produced the payload, which includes one EHF/Ka band, three UHF-band and five active SHF-band transponders. SICRAL 1B will provide strategic and tactical communications services for the Italian armed forces, in Italy and abroad, as well as ensuring mobile communications with land, naval and air platforms. It will also support NATO forces with its UHF and SHF SATCOM capabilities. SICRAL 1B is designed to meet the evolving requirements of the Italian defense ministry and NATO, and will work in tandem with the first SICRAL satellite, SICRAL 1A, launched in 2001 as part of a new communications satellite system dedicated to national security. SICRAL 1B's design life extends from 2009 to 2021, and is expected to be joined by SICRAL 2 in 2012.
Telespazio, a Finmeccanica/Thales company, a joint venture between Finmeccanica (67%) and Thales (33%), is a world leader in satellite services, from the management of satellites to Earth observation services, and from satellite navigation to broadband multimedia telecommunications. Telespazio, a Finmeccanica/Thales company, has invested directly in the SICRAL 1B program, enabling it to use some of the satellite's transmission capacity and to offer communications services to NATO and the European defense market. The Rome-based company operates a network of four space centers and 25 sites globally. The Fucino Space Centre has more than 90 operational antennas and is the largest satellite telecommunications center in the world for civil use. Telespazio, a Finmeccanica/Thales company, also operates in France, through Telespazio, a Finmeccanica/Thales company, France - managing and maintaining ground infrastructure and offering value-added services - and in Germany, through Telespazio, a Finmeccanica/Thales company, Deutschland, which specializes in services for operators in the space sector. In addition, Telespazio, a Finmeccanica/Thales company, plays a leading role in reference markets, harnessing accumulated technological experience through its participation in major European space programs.
Thales Alenia Space was responsible for construction of the SICRAL 1B spacecraft as well as some of its ground-based segment. Thales Alenia Space, a Thales/Finmeccanica joint venture, is a European leader in satellite systems and a major player in orbital infrastructures, setting the global standard in solutions for space telecoms, radar and optical Earth observation, defense and security, and navigation and science. The company has design and manufacturing facilities in France, Italy, Spain and Belgium." - Sea Launch
"From its equatorial launch site at 154 degrees West Longitude, a Zenit-3SL launch vehicle will insert the 3,038 kg (6,697 lb) SICRAL 1B spacecraft to geosynchronous transfer orbit, on its way to its final orbital location at 11.8 degrees East Longitude. The first stage of the vehicle will separate two-and-a-half minutes after liftoff and the protective payload fairing will be jettisoned a minute later. After operating for six minutes, the second stage will separate from the Block DM upper stage. The Block DM will burn for eight-and-a-half minutes. Following a coast period of one hour and 18 minutes, the Block DM will burn a second time for three minutes. After the second burn, and another 10-minute coast, the spacecraft will separate from the upper stage over central Africa. A ground station at Telespazio's Fucino Space Centre in Italy is expected to confirm the status of SICRAL 1B satellite soon after spacecraft separation." - Sea Launch