Leonardo to Pioneer Europe’s First Military Space Cloud Project

Italy’s state-controlled defence and aerospace group Leonardo announced on Monday that it has been tasked by the Ministry of Defence to explore the creation of its military space cloud architecture initiative.

Named MILSCA, the initiative aims to equip Italy’s government and armed forces with a high-performance system encompassing computing, cloud, artificial intelligence (AI), and storage capabilities directly within space, according to the announcement.

Over the course of a two-year examination period, Leonardo will collaborate with Telespazio and Thales Alenia Space, joint ventures between the Italian defence and aerospace conglomerate and France’s Thales, in line with Leonardo’s strategic objectives to prioritize the space sector, crucial for future defence and security, and the establishment of interconnected, digitally enhanced platforms to augment its traditional offerings.

MILSCA promises to ensure access to vital strategic data, including communication, earth observation, and navigation information, to users anytime and anywhere.

It pledges to offer enhanced speed and flexibility in data processing and distribution, boasting 100 Terabytes of data storage capacity both on Earth and in space on each satellite, along with a computing power exceeding 250 TFLOPS, or 250 trillion operations per second.

The initial phase of the study will focus on outlining the architecture, followed by the development of a digital twin in the subsequent phase.

“In a multi-domain environment, the control, security, and swift transfer of an increasingly large volume of data, much of it tactical, are crucial for national defense. We are set to be the first in Europe to launch a Space Cloud initiative…,” stated Leonardo’s Chief Innovation Officer Simone Ungaro.