EURO MILSATS: French defense officials say France and Italy will sign off on contracts for two new military communications satellites by year’s end. A go-ahead for the satellites — the Sicral 2 secure satcom and Athena-Fidus dual-use broadband spacecraft — has been held up for over a year because of discussion over technical requirements and other issues. Thales Alenia Space is expected to be prime contractor for the two satellites.

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