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Europe's Satellite Navigation Programme Gets Going

Galileo Industries Awarded Largest Contract for Galileo Test Satellite

Noordwijk, 11 July 2003

Following evaluation of its technically compliant bid to the European Space Agency (ESA), Galileo Industries, a joint venture with EADS Astrium as its principal shareholder, signed a contract to build one of Europe’s first spacecraft entirely dedicated to satellite navigation.

The €72 million contract for the Galileo System Test Bed (GSTB V2) will be a precursor mission for the European satellite navigation programme. Its primary purpose is to demonstrate and validate all technologies previously developed under the Galileo programme and, if required, to secure the filings allocating global radio frequencies. The satellite must be ready for launch in 2005.

Evert Dudok, Director of EADS Astrium’s Earth Observation, Navigation and Science Division said: “EADS Astrium is fully committed to working under these challenging timescales to prove the cost-effectiveness of the Galileo Industries’ approach which combines the technology validation with the securing of the radio frequency filings in a single mission.”

“Our unprecedented expertise and track record in the design, development and manufacture of highly versatile space systems and our continuous involvement in the Galileo initiative played a crucial role in the success of the EADS Astrium-led Galileo Industries bid.”

Mike Healy, Director, Earth Observation, Navigation and Science (UK) said, “EADS Astrium’s leading edge GSTB payload, being developed at our Portsmouth site, is very similar to that for the complete constellation and will demonstrate and prove Europe's latest technological advances. EADS Astrium in the UK has also obtained the lead in the ground segment.”

The Galileo Industries’ design also permits the investigation of the effect of a wide range of environmental influences, such as the ionosphere, on the signal.

Selection as a prime contractor for GSTB V2, confirms Galileo Industries as a major partner in the development of the Galileo satellite navigation system. Galileo is a joint initiative of the European Commission and the European Space Agency. Under civil control, Galileo, a global system of thirty satellites with its associated ground infrastructure, will provide an interoperable and complementary service to the US military GPS system.

The introduction of Galileo will facilitate a whole range of new positioning and timing applications and services that will be as ubiquitous as the mobile telephone is now. It will be an essential part of Europe’s intelligent integrated mobile communications system of the future. Galileo will be fully operational in 2008 with signal transmissions due to start in 2005. Its development and deployment will deliver considerable benefits to the European economy, creating an estimated 100,000 highly skilled jobs across Europe.

As a world leader in satellite systems and all aspects of ground segment and total service provision, EADS Astrium is playing a leading role in the development of Galileo together with its Galileo Industries partners, Alenia Spazio of Italy, Alcatel Space of France, Thales and the Spanish consortium Galileo Systemas y Servicios.

EADS Astrium is wholly owned by EADS, the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company. With an annual turnover of €1.2 billion and 7,200 employees in France, Germany, the United Kingdom and Spain, EADS Astrium’s satellite business activities cover complete civil and military telecommunications and Earth Observation systems, Science and Navigation programmes, and all spacecraft avionics and equipment.


EADS Astrium (UK)
Alistair Scott
Tel:+44(0)1438 77 36 98

EADS Astrium (D)
Mathias Pikelj
Tel:+49(0)7545 8 91 23

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