Leonardo kicks off Space Cloud project for Italy’s armed forces

By Thomson Reuters Feb 19, 2024 | 4:15 AM

ROME (Reuters) – Italy’s state-owned Leonardo said on Monday that the Ministry of Defence had asked it to study the development of its military space cloud architecture project, the first in Europe.

The project, dubbed MILSCA, will provide Italy’s government and armed forces with a system of high-performing computing, cloud and artificial intelligence (AI) and storage capacity directly in space, the statement said.

During the two-year study, Leonardo will cooperate with Telespazio and Thales Alenia Space, two joint ventures between the Italian defence and aerospace group and France’s Thales.

It falls in line with Leonardo’s main goals for the years ahead to focus on the space industry – key for defence and security in the future – and setting up interconnected, multi-domained digitalised platforms, aimed at supporting its traditional products.

MILSCA will guarantee users access to strategic data such as communications, earth observation, and navigation data, anywhere and at any time.

It can grant higher speed and flexibility in the processing and sharing of information, with 100 Terabytes of data storage on Earth and in space aboard each satellite and a processing power of over 250 TFLOPS, or 250 thousand billion operations per second.

In the first phase of the study the architecture will be defined, while in the second phase a digital twin will be developed.

“In a multi-domain scenario, management, security, and rapid exchange of an ever-increasing amount of data, much of which is tactical, become strategic elements for the country’s defense. We will be the first in Europe to develop a Space Cloud project…,” Leonardo’s Chief Innovation Officer Simone Ungaro said in a statement.

(Reporting by Giulia Segreti; Editing by Sharon Singleton)