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European Commission announces major Galileo contracts

Galileo constellation. ESA Photo.

BRUSSELS (BNS): The European Commission Thursday announced the award of three of the six contracts for the procurement of Galileo’s initial operational capability.

According to press release by the European Commission, the contract for the system support services is awarded to Thales Alenia Space of Italy, the first order of 14 satellites contract to OHB System AG of Germany and for the launch services Arianespace of France was given the contract.

“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,” said Antonio Tajani, European Commission Vice-President in charge of Transport, as reported in the release.

The announcement of these major contracts will thus allow the initial deployment and service provision of Europe’s satellite navigation system by 2014.

Thales Alenia Space will provide system support services which will also cover the industrial services needed to support the European Space Agency for the integration and the validation of the Galileo system.

The contract with Arianespace covers the launch of five Soyuz launchers, each carrying two satellites. The first launch is scheduled for October 2012.

Galileo is Europe's initiative for a state-of-the-art global satellite navigation system, providing a highly accurate, guaranteed global positioning service under civilian control.

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