EMS Defense & Space, a division of aero connectivity and mobile resource management leader, EMS Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: ELMG), today announced a contract with Thales Alenia Space to provide Ka band redundant low noise amplifier (RLNA) switching hardware. The hardware will support the Athena-Fidus satellite (Access on theaters for European allied forces nations-French Italian dual use satellite), a French-Italian telecommunications satellite that uses state-of-the-art civil broadband Internet technologies. Under the terms of the contract, EMS is slated to deliver a ferrite switch and driver electronics to meet Thales Alenia Space’s 2013 launch date.

“EMS has a longstanding history of providing low noise amplifiers and switching hardware for satellite communications payloads for heritage programs such as Echo, Anik F2, and the MUOS (Mobile User Objective System) satellite architecture,” said Derrell James, Vice President of Business Development, EMS Defense & Space. “We are pleased to be a partner with Thales Alenia Space and to serve as a trusted supplier of critical communications systems.”

The EMS switch assembly will enable a high level of performance for the Athena-Fidus satellite. The RLNA is a key front-end component of the payload that employs selective beam-switching to provide coverage in high-demand areas. EMS’s patented hardware is extremely compact and lightweight and is designed to create a 50-60% reduction in the mass of the RLNA switching function of the satellite.

“We selected EMS for their longstanding history of providing space-qualified hardware for communications satellites,” said Nathalie Smirnov, SVP System & Payload Telecommunications, Thales Alenia Space. “The combination of EMS and Thales Alenia Space will provide the French and Italian governments with a highly reliable and capable satellite system for military and government use.”

Athena-Fidus will be used by the ministries of defense in France and Italy, as well as civil security agencies in these countries, including homeland security, police and fire departments. The satellite will also complement the capabilities already offered by other European cooperative architectures. As a result of the contract, EMS Technologies will have switching hardware in use on over 20 military and commercial satellites.

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