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Astrium-UK secures Galileo contract
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Published on 23-06-11

Astrium-UK has been awarded one of the final industrial contracts to make Europe’s global navigation satellite programme, Galileo, a reality.  The programme is the EU's initiative for a state-of-the-art global satellite navigation system, providing a highly accurate, guaranteed global positioning service under civilian control.

    Galileo satellite

    Galileo satellite

    Valued at €73.5m (£63.7m) the contract relates to the "housekeeping" of the satellites, including the maintenance and correct positioning of them in orbit.

    Another contract went to Thales Alenia Space of France (€281m/£243.7m) to ensure navigation information is properly formatted for transmission by the satellites.

    Both contracts were signed by the European Space Agency on behalf of the European Commission at the prestigious Le Bourget Aerospace Fair in Paris on Wednesday (22 June).

    Speaking in Paris, Vice President Antonio Tajani, European Commissioner for enterprise and industrial policy, said: “The award of the contracts to UK and French companies once again underlines the true cross-border European collaboration which is Galileo.

    Signature of the contracts marks the end of a rigorous procurement process and the beginning of a new chapter for Galileo. Rigorous because I personally insisted on reducing costs wherever possible throughout the Galileo programme.  A new chapter for Galileo because we are now well and truly on the road to putting in place the infrastructure leading to the provision of vital services to citizens in 2014."

    The Vice-President also announced cost savings of €500m.  He said "thanks to the efforts of all stakeholders and improved programme management the figure of €1.9 billion previously put forward for the successful completion of the system could be lowered."

    The launch of the first two operational Galileo satellites is anticipated on 20 October 2011 from French Guiana Space port.

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    Last update: 24/06/2011  |Top