Astrium to build the future optical reconnaissance satellites for the French Armed Forces
Paris, 02 December 2010
* Contract worth € 795 million
* Two new military observation satellites for France, with an option for a third
* An ambitious timetable with first launch slated for 2016
* The DGA and CNES once again place their confidence in Astrium
CNES, the French space agency, has notified Astrium that the DGA, the French arms procurement agency, has awarded the company a € 795 million contract for two satellites for the optical space component (CSO) that will replace the current HELIOS 2 military observation satellites. The first satellite is scheduled to enter orbit in December 2016. The contract also includes an option for a third satellite.
As prime contractor for the CSO satellites programme, Astrium will provide the agile platform and avionics, and will also be responsible for the integration work, testing and delivery of the satellites to CNES. Thales Alenia Space will provide Astrium with the very-high resolution optical instrument.
100 times more powerful with 30% less costs
Astrium will be making use of new technology to deliver satellites that are 100 times more powerful than the current generation, all at reduced costs. Astrium has drawn on the latest technological advances and operational feedback from its entire fleet of reconnaissance satellites to cut costs by 30% over the last decade. Astrium can now boast 35 low-orbit satellites that have totalled 350 years of service in orbit.
The satellite’s tremendous agility and stability enable it to quickly provide users with extremely high-quality images, even for the most complex acquisition schedules.
Astrium has made use of the latest generation of gyroscopic actuators, fibre optic gyroscopes, on-board electronics and control software to optimise weight and inertia and significantly increase the pointing speed.
The satellite will also carry a Galileo navigator developed by Astrium and the latest generation of Sodern star trackers.
Astrium, a wholly owned subsidiary of EADS, is dedicated to providing civil and defence space systems and services. In 2009, Astrium had a turnover of €4.8 billion and more than 15,000 employees in France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain and the Netherlands. Its three main areas of activity are Astrium Space Transportation for launchers and orbital infrastructure, Astrium Satellites for spacecraft and ground segment, and Astrium Services for comprehensive end-to-end value-added solutions covering secure and commercial satcoms and networks, high security satellite communications equipment, bespoke geo-information and navigation services worldwide.
EADS is a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services. In 2009, the Group – comprising Airbus, Astrium, Cassidian and Eurocopter – generated revenues of € 42.8 billion and employed a workforce of more than 119,000.
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Astrium United Kingdom
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