CANNES, France, June 25 (UPI) -- Brazilian Air Force personnel have completed training in France on operating the South American country's future military communications satellite.
The satellite, being built by Thales Alenia Space, is scheduled for launch in 2016 by Ariane Space.
The course involved instruction on systems that involve planning, design, construction, operation, and validation of space systems, the Brazilian military said.
In addition to the 2016 satellite, Brazil is to operate a military remote-sensing satellite constellation from 2018.
"We are participating in the construction of the satellites, and improving our knowledge of their operation, as we prepare for the next stage of the Strategic Program for Space Systems," said Lt. Col. Helcio Vieira Jr,, head of the Space Operations Center Principal Core, the air force unit that will operate all Brazilian military satellites.
The satellite to be launched in 2016 will serve the needs of Brazil's National Broadband Plan and will provide wide-area strategic communications in both civilian and military/government spheres. New capabilities as a result of the satellite include increased military communications capabilities in support of the SISFRON land border monitoring system, among others.