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A new dual-use telecommunications satellite has entered operations. The Brazilian Air Force (FAB) has started operating the defence and strategic communications geostationary satellite (SGCD). The device was launched from the Kourou Space Centre in French Guiana to serve civilian and military purposes. Since its launch, the satellite has been undergoing orbital tests and functional tests coordinated by the military.

Space Operations Centre Deputy chief aviator, colonel Sidney César Coelho Alves, said: “The SGDC has received the Band X payload, which will guarantee more security in our military communications and increase the operational capacity of the armed forces.”

The ministries of Defence, Science, Technology, Innovations and Communications have invested $822.5m in the project which is expected to allow more than 7,000 public network computers to connect to the internet, the satellite will also support the implementation of the National Broadband Plan.

The dual-use telecommunications satellite is intended to provide secure strategic defence communications for the Brazilian Ministry of Defence, and broadband services for the Ministry of Telecommunications, through the National Broadband Plan (PNBL).

The five X-band transponders will cover all of South America and neighbouring maritime routes. The Ka-band payload will offer government strategic data communications and expand broadband services to remote areas in Brazil.

The satellite will be operated by Visiona Tecnologia Espacial, a joint venture between Embraer Defense and Security and Telebras Telecomunicaçoes Brasileiras.