Antwerp Space NV of Belgium will design and build a data dissemination network for the operational phase of Europe’s Galileo satellite navigation project under a contract valued at 11 million euros ($15 million) signed with Galileo ground segment prime contractor Thales Alenia Space, Antwerp Space announced.

Antwerp Space, a subsidiary of space-hardware manufacturer OHB AG of Germany, will extend the ground network currently in place for Galileo’s in-orbit validation phase, during which four satellites will be placed into medium Earth orbit and tested with the ground infrastructure. The first two of the spacecraft were launched in October. The remaining two are scheduled for launch in mid-2012.

Under the contract, Antwerp Space will adapt the network for the full Galileo constellation. A total of 18 Galileo satellites have been ordered, including the four in-orbit validation spacecraft, with another six or eight satellites expected to be placed under contract in February.

Antwerp Space’s contract is for network modernization and related work to be performed through March 2015.