Contracts awarded for next-generation Galileo satellites

January 26, 2021  - By
Image: ESA

Image: ESA

The European Commission has issued industrial contracts worth €1.47 billion ($1.97 billion) to build next-generation Galileo satellites to Airbus and Thales Alenia Space, reports BBC News.

Both companies told BBC News that they will not speak publicly about their contracts wins until documents are signed, which could take several weeks.

Read more about Galileo and its plans in Directions 2021: Galileo expands and modernizes global PNT by Javier Benedicto and Rodrigo da Costa.

Each contract is for manufacture of six satellites, to orbit no earlier than 2024. They will feature digitally configurable antennas, inter-satellite links, new atomic clocks and propulsion systems that use electric engines.

Airbus and TAS built the four Pathfinder in-orbit validation satellites that first demonstrated Galileo. A consortium of OHB-System and Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. built the first operational Galileo satellites, but the consortium ended following Brexit.

About the Author: Tracy Cozzens

Senior Editor Tracy Cozzens joined GPS World magazine in 2006. She also is editor of GPS World’s newsletters and the sister website Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.