The European Commission announced today 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 O85 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. Today OHB wins the first order of 14 satellites for a value of O566 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 O397 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.


Procurement process

The procurement for Galileo’s full operational capability is divided into six work packages:

* system support services
* satellites
* launch services to put the satellites in orbit
* ground mission infrastructure to ensure the provision of the services
* ground control infrastructure to manage the satellites
* operations.

The process kicked off in July 2008 by the European Space Agency, under delegation from the European Commission. Short-listed companies were invited to submit best and final offers following a comprehensive dialogue phase. All contracts are awarded on the basis of “best value for money”.

For some work packages, both framework contracts and specific contracts may be signed. Framework contracts set the conditions under which specific contracts will be concluded for concrete work orders, but without any commitment regarding the award of such specific contracts.

System support services

Through a framework contract lasting from 2010 till 2016, a specific contract for a first work order was awarded to ThalesAleniaSpace. The specific contract for the first order lasts from 2010 till 2014, and includes the following services:

* system engineering
* system performance engineering
* signal-in-space engineering
* security engineering
* ground segment engineering
* system assembly, integration and verification
* product assurance.


A framework contract signed with both OHB System AG and EADS-Astrium GmBH lasting from 2010 till 2015, covers the provision of a maximum of 32 satellites. A specific contract for a first order of 14 satellites was awarded to OHB, with the provision of the first satellite in July 2012. One satellite is expected every 1.5 month as of then, with the last one scheduled to be delivered in March 2014.

Launch services

A contract was awarded to Arianespace for the launch of five Soyuz launchers from Kourou, French Guiana, each taking two satellites on board. The first launch is scheduled to take place in October 2012 and will be followed by four to five launches per year. The contract also contains options for either two additional Soyuz launches (carrying two satellites) or one Ariane 5 (carrying four satellites).

Phasing of the programme

The Galileo programme has been structured in two phases:

* The in-orbit validation (IOV) phase consists of tests and the operation of four satellites and their related ground infrastructure. This phase is ongoing. The launch of the first two IOV satellites is scheduled for end November 2010, followed by the other two in April 2011.

* The full operational capability (FOC) phase consists of the deployment of the remaining ground and space infrastructure. It includes an initial operational capability phase of 18 operational satellites. The full system will consist of 30 satellites, control centres located in Europe and a network of sensor stations and uplink stations installed around the globe.

For more information about Galileo, please visit .