A new start for Galileo: OHB and SSTL ready to meet the challenge
OHB Technology AG of Bremen (Prime Standard, ISIN: DE0005936124), Germany and SSTL located in Guildford, UK welcome the decision on Galileo taken by the European Transport Council. Both companies are strongly supportive of the new start given to Galileo, with improved rules of governance, and a balanced industrial scheme strengthening competition and allowing dual-sourcing. OHB and SSTL are now delighted to announce in that context that the two companies have signed an agreement to work together on the Galileo programme. While OHB will act as prime contractor and supply the satellites platforms, SSTL will supply the satellites payloads.
p>Now that Galileo is to be publicly funded, this opportunity to re-introduce competition has arisen and the public sector needs to grasp the opportunity by allowing competitive tendering. The team is committed to propose a very competitive offer for the satellites. Marco R. Fuchs, CEO of OHB-Technology, commenting on the European Transport Council decision, stated: "The possibility of dual source procurement is a very attractive solution for the public institutions, in order to keep prices down and to secure supply in the long term. We appreciated the support of the German government in their willingness to reach the appropriate compromise to enable a positive decision of the Council. We are definitely committed to supporting the Galileo procurement process."
OHB brings experience from prime contractorship of the German SAR-Lupe constellation of five military radar reconnaissance satellites built under contract from the German Ministry of Defence. The SAR-Lupe satellites are of the 700-kg class (identical to Galileo). The programme was conducted on time and on budget, for an overall amount of EUR 315 million, including ground segment and launches. Three satellites are already operational, the remaining two will be launched in 2008. OHB is also responsible for the construction of seven new ORBCOMM satellites for the commercial ORBCOMM constellation.
SSTL brings experience gained through the successful GIOVE-A mission, the only Galileo satellite to be launched so far. GIOVE-A was developed under a EUR 28 million contract signed with ESA in the second half of 2003. The mission`s primary aim was to broadcast Galileo signals from space so that Europe could claim the frequencies filed for Galileo with the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). The satellite was designed, built, tested and launched before the end of 2005 on-time and on-budget. GIOVE-A has transmitted Galileo signals for over 22 months. Following the success of GIOVE-A, ESA placed a further contract with SSTL in March 2007 for a second satellite named GIOVE-A2.
The full operational capability of Galileo requires the construction of 26 satellites, and additional ones will be needed in longer term for the refurbishment of the constellation. Given this number of satellites it is essential for the public sector to have an enduring competitive industrial supply of satellites. Commenting on the agreement, Sir Martin Sweeting, chairman of SSTL`s board of directors, stated: "The OHB-SSTL team`s aim is to offer Europe a second source of operational satellites. We can bring the benefits of our experience to space to Galileo in order to deliver high quality satellites at reasonable cost within the given time frame".
Lowering the cost of Galileo is one of several benefits that the collaboration can bring. The team has a proven ability to rapidly deploy space systems which will also help to quicken the pace of the programme. Rapid deployment of the first batch of satellites will establish Galileo in the marketplace and allow the European citizen to start deriving benefit from the system. There is a clear need for an initial service to be provided as soon as possible to allow the development of Galileo user applications and equipment and hence ensure the future value of the complete system.
Galileo is a joint initiative between ESA and the European Commission.
About OHB Technology AG
OHB Technology AG is the first listed technology and space company in Germany (ISIN: DE0005936124; Prime Standard). With a total of more than 1,200 employees, its four business units "Space Systems + Security", "Payloads + Science", "Space Transportation + Aerospace Structures" and "Telematics + Satellite Operations" develop and produce solutions for national and international customers. Thanks to the successful combination of space technology and telematics skills backed by just on 25 years of experience in high-tech engineering, OHB Technology AG holds an excellent position in Europe.
About Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd
Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) develops innovative technologies to change the economics of space, delivering cost effective satellite missions within rapid timescales. The Company is a world leader in the design, manufacture and operation of high performance small satellites with experience gained over more than 25 years and 27 missions launched. SSTL employs 270 staff working on LEO, GEO and interplanetary missions, turnkey satellite platforms and space-proven satellite subsystems and optical systems.