The European Commission announced on 7 January 2010 the award of three of the six contracts for the procurement of Galileo’s initial operational capability. The contract for the system support services is awarded to ThalesAleniaSpace of Italy that for a first order of 14 satellites to OHB System AG of Germany and that for the launch services to Arianespace of France. This will allow the initial deployment and service provision of Europe’s satellite navigation system as of early 2014.

Antonio Tajani European Commission Vice-President in charge of Transport said: “With this and the upcoming awards for the remaining procurement packages we are concluding a critical phase of the Galileo programme. We can now focus on the actual roll-out and demonstrate to European citizens that Europe’s own satellite navigation system is firmly underway”.
The contract awarded to ThalesAleniaSpace for the system support services covers the industrial services needed to support the European Space Agency for the integration and the validation of the Galileo system. It has a value of €85 million.

The signing of a framework contract in December with both OHB System AG and EADS-Astrium GmBH both of Germany paved the way for the eventual provision of a maximum of 32 satellites. OHB has now won the first order of 14 satellites for a value of €566 million. The remaining satellites will be procured in subsequent work orders each time from either OHB or EADS-Astrium GmBH depending on which company provides the most advantageous offer. The Commission intends to follow a strategy of double sourcing to lower risks particularly in terms of delivery timings and increase flexibility.

The contract with Arianespace covers the launch of five Soyuz launchers each carrying two satellites. The first launch is scheduled for October 2012. The value of the contract amounts to €397 million.

The contracts are expected to be signed in the next few weeks between the chosen companies and the European Space Agency on behalf of the European Commission.
The Commission is now able to better schedule the timings for the provision of the different Galileo services: the Open Service the Public Regulated Service and the Search And Rescue Service will be provided as of early 2014. The Safety-of-Life Service and the Commercial Service will be tested as of 2014 and will be provided as Galileo reaches full operational capability with a constellation of 30 satellites.

The remaining three procurement contracts for the ground mission infrastructure the ground control infrastructure and the operations should be awarded by mid-2010.

European Commission Press Release

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Original Publication Date: Tue 27 Jul 2010