Govsatcom Precursor Pacis-6 contract signed with Inmarsat

Contract will see creation of a new open platform for pooling and sharing of commercial secure satcom services

10 April 2018: The European Space Agency (ESA) has today awarded a contract to Inmarsat, the world’s leading provider of global, mobile satellite communications (satcom), as the Prime Contractor for the new “PACIS-6” Govsatcom Precursor project.

The Inmarsat-led initiative will develop and demonstrate a pooling and sharing (P&S) platform that will enable European Government users and European Union (EU) agencies to access secure, affordable commercial satellite services; augmenting government-owned satcom capabilities.

The project will demonstrate to government users how to access secure capacity from Inmarsat’s unique Global Xpress (GX) constellation; the world’s only commercially available global Military Ka-band satellite network.

ESA’s Carlo Elia and Inmarsat’s Andy Start sign the Govsatcom Precursor Pacis‑6 contract at ESA ESTEC. Pacis‑6 will see the creation of a new open platform for pooling and sharing of commercial secure satcom services. (© ESA‑G. Porter)

The Govsatcom PACIS-6 consortium, led by Inmarsat, includes cyber security and digital transformation specialists CGI, and government solution & application specialists AnsuR and Teamnet.

The ESA awarded contract is designed specifically to address the requirements of European governments for satellite communications that can augment and enhance their existing operational capabilities.  This is of particular importance in supporting crisis response agencies, border security, diplomatic networks, disaster response, critical infrastructure, and peacekeeping missions.

Andy Start, President of Inmarsat Global Government, said: “Inmarsat is already a major satcom service provider to many European governments via our highly reliable, mobile L-band network.  These satcom solutions include mission critical services such as L-band Tactical Satcom (L-TAC), and our commercial and military Ka-band network powered by Inmarsat’s Global Xpress High Throughput Satellites. Our satellite access stations in Holland, Italy and Greece support the delivery of these services to our European customers.

“We are delighted that ESA has selected Inmarsat to help shape the ESA Govsatcom Precursor programme. This ESA / Inmarsat partnership will enable a new open platform for pooling and sharing of innovative and secure satcom services for European agencies and governments.”

Carlo Elia, Head of Telecommunications, ESA said:  “The ESA Govsatcom Precursor Programme is developing new government satellite communications service concepts. Intelligent management of commercially provided satcom services is expected to be a key pillar for providing competitive global secure satcom services including such services in support to European institutional needs and a future GOVSATCOM.  ESA is pleased to be working with Inmarsat on this programme.”


Notes to editor

Satcom Pooling and Sharing Platform

As the global leader in mobile satellite services for nearly 40 years, Inmarsat and its consortium partner CGI will develop a prototype P&S platform that will intelligently pool and share capacity amongst multiple different systems, satellites and operators. Inmarsat already operates services to a wide range of government users provided through the company’s L-Band, Ka-band, Military Ka-band and the S-Band satellite frequencies. This Inmarsat Govsatcom P&S platform will support defined interfaces to enable secure integration of a wide range of different services from which government end users can select.

The Govsatcom P&S platform is intended to prepare for a ‘one-stop-shop’ for satcom procurement by European government end users and users on the global market. Customers will be able to procure government specific terminals, satcom services, and applications that fit their bespoke operational requirement and budget.

Multiple end user satellite service demonstrations will be conducted during the project.  These will cover a range of different civil government services, including connectivity for ‘head of state’ aircraft, the utilisation of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) for border security and critical infrastructure operations, and disaster response or crisis management scenarios.

Throughout these demonstrations, the consortium will deploy Inmarsat’s Impact! Demonstration Suite, where end users will visually immerse themselves in augmented reality to test the Inmarsat P&S platform and develop operational satcom requirements.

The ESA Govsatcom Precursor Programme

ESA’s Govsatcom Precursor projects, including PACIS-6, are the first steps to demonstrate how the European space industry can respond to a globally emerging market of secure satcom and support the future EU Govsatcom initiative; developed under the auspices of the European Commission.

ESA’s Govsatcom Precursor consists of several PACIS projects based on public–private partnerships with major European satellite operators and service providers in the 2017-20 timeframe. At present, the programme includes 3 projects with three further projects planned to join in 2018. The ESA programme is being implemented in collaboration with the European Commission and the European Defence Agency.

These projects are called PACIS after the Ara Pacis Augustae, an altar in Rome dedicated to the Roman god of peace, Pax.

For further information

Jonathan Sinnatt
Director of Corporate Communications
+44 (0)20 7728 1935

About Inmarsat

Inmarsat is the leading provider of global mobile satellite communications services. Since 1979, Inmarsat has been providing reliable voice and high-speed data communications to governments, enterprises and other organisations, with a range of services that can be used on land, at sea or in the air. Inmarsat operates around the world, with a presence in the major ports and centres of commerce on every continent. Inmarsat is listed on the London Stock Exchange (ISAT.L). For more information, please visit

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