Since the signature of a framework contract between EDA and Astrium Services in September 2012, ESCPC, the Agency’s initiative for the pooled procurement of commercial satellite communication services, has proven its operational and financial value by delivering concrete support to Member States. In 2013 the ESCPC scheme facilitated orders of more than €1 million. Three additional contributing Member States (Belgium, Finland and Luxembourg) have joined the five ESCPC founding nations (France, Italy, Poland, Romania and the United Kingdom) while others declared their interest in the pay-per-use scheme.
In military operations satellite communications are fundamental for Communication, Command and Control. They also allow operational effectiveness of Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance platforms, including Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems. Member States often resort to commercial satellite communications either to complement similar military capabilities or as the sole means to effectively conduct military operations. The EDA ESCPC pools commercial satellite communication demand from a number of European defence departments, reducing costs by up to 20 per cent.
Astrium Services serves as the contractual, commercial and operational interface allowing for a flexible “pay per use” access to satellite communications with very little administrative burden for Member States.