On 23 July 2019, the Italian Space Agency (ASI) ordered the 2,300 kg ITAL-GOVSATCOM satellite from Thales Alenia Space as part of a national contribution to the wider European GovSatCom project. Thales Alenia will be acting as the lead company in a “temporary consortium” with Telespazio for the project. Thales Alenia will be responsible for the satellite design, main satellite subsystems and the primary payload whilst Telespazio will cover the ground systems, communications for the Launch and Early Orbit Phase (LEOP). The value of this order has not been revealed.
The Italian rocket builder Avio has been selected to provide a Vega-family rocket, nominally a Vega-C unit, to launch the satellite to GEO. There is not a set launch date yet however, Thales Alenia have reportedly said that they expect the satellite to be ready for delivery on the ground in five years time.
Supporting the order is the Italian Ministry for Economic Development (MISE) which is representing 12 Italian regions which are providing a number of small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) making contributions to the project.