COSMO-SkyMed Second Generation ready to include two additional satellites thanks to contracts with the Italian Space Agency and the Italian Ministry of Defence

Rome, December 15, 2020 - Contracts for two additional COSMO-SKyMed Second Generation (CSG) satellites have been signed with the Italian Space Agency (ASI) and the Italian Ministry of Defense.

Satellites 3 and 4 will complete the second generation of the Italian earth observation program, ensuring continuity and high performance of the planet's monitoring services.

Alessandro Profumo, Leonardo CEO commented: “COSMO-SkyMed is one of Italy’s great success stories, a driver of technological research, new applications, industrial competitiveness and employment, as well as fundamental infrastructure for the protection and security of Italy and Europe. Thanks to the capabilities demonstrated in the management of emergency situations linked to sudden events, the systems potential in terms of reliability, precision and flexibility are known internationally. In addition, its capabilities are now further enhanced by the second generation, with continuous technological research. As Leonardo, we are proud of the contribution provided in all phases of the COSMO-SkyMed program, a role that gives us credibility and prestige with our customers all over the world”.

COSMO-SkyMed is an Earth observation satellite system of ASI and the Ministry of Defense, a flagship of Italian technology and innovation, built by Leonardo and its joint ventures Thales Alenia Space and Telespazio.

It is a dual-use constellation, with SAR "eyes" (Synthetic Aperture Radar) capable of monitoring the phenomena of the Earth in any weather condition.

COSMO-SkyMed has changed the way of observing the planet, ensuring fundamental information for the security and the understanding of phenomena that affect everyday life.

With the innovative updates built into the second generation COSMO-SkyMed is the first SAR satellite system in the world capable of simultaneously acquiring two images of two areas hundreds of kilometers apart and thus serving two requests that would have been in conflict for any other satellite system.

COSMO-SkyMed images are used to support populations affected by natural disasters such as earthquakes and fires, but also for the control of cultural and artistic heritage, of critical infrastructures, for monitoring the receding of glaciers, that of oil spills in the seas and for the optimization of agricultural techniques.

The first Second Generation satellite was launched a year ago. The second satellite will be launched on a VEGA-C launcher. The constellation will be completed with the additional two satellites just announced which will join the first two.


The COSMO-SkyMed system, of the Italian Space Agency and the Ministry of Defense, is the result and expression of the best skills of the Italian space industry, with Leonardo and its joint ventures Thales Alenia Space and Telespazio, assisted by a significant number of small and medium-sized enterprises. In particular, Thales Alenia Space, a joint venture between Thales (67%) and Leonardo (33%), is responsible for the entire radar system and satellites, while Telespazio, a joint venture between Leonardo (67%) and Thales (33%), is responsible of the ground segment and hosts the command and control center of the constellation at the Fucino Space Center. Leonardo also contributes to the program by providing the star trackers (A-STR) for the orientation of the satellite, photovoltaic panels (PVA) and electronic units for the management of the electrical power. The first generation has four satellites launched between 2007 and 2010, while the first satellite of the new generation was launched in December 2019. The COSMO-SkyMed constellation is able to acquire up to 1800 images per day that Leonardo, through e- GEOS (Telespazio 80%, ASI 20%) receives, processes and markets all over the world.

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