Airbus Defence and Space

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Airbus Defence and Space awarded Galileo Full Operational Capability Ground Control Segment Contract

Airbus Defence and Space to provide the Ground Control Segment for the full operational Galileo system - Europe’s global navigation satellite system

Le Bourget, Paris, 22 June 2011 – Airbus Defence and Space, Europe’s leading space company, has been selected by the European Space Agency and the European Union as prime contractor for the Galileo Full Operational Capability Ground Control Segment. The contract value is €73.5 million.

The Ground Control Segment (GCS) contract covers the provision of GCS facilities for the operation of the constellation of Europe’s global navigation satellite system. The contract, which will be led by an Airbus Defence and Space team out of the UK, covers the provision of a new facility at Fucino (Italy) and the expansion of the existing Ground Control Centre at Oberpfaffenhofen (Germany).

The deployment also includes the provision of a temporary GCS back-up facility at the Fucino Galileo Control Centre for the four In-Orbit Validation satellites, and the provision of two further Telemetry, Tracking and Command (TTC) stations on Réunion and Nouméa.

Airbus Defence and Space’s unique expertise in ground systems has enabled them to be selected for all phases of the Galileo GCS development and implementation. Airbus Defence and Space was responsible for the development, installation and test of the GCS for the Galileo demonstrator GIOVE-B, launched in April 2008 and which is still successfully operating in-orbit.

In the In-Orbit Validation phase, Airbus Defence and Space is also responsible for providing the initial Galileo ground segment infrastructure, including the functional elements contained at the Oberpfaffenhofen Galileo Control Centre and the two existing Telemetry, Tracking and Command (TTC) stations located at Kiruna and Kourou. Through the new contract, the UK team will be responsible for the deployment of the GCS to provide the full operational capability for the complete constellation. 

Colin Paynter, Managing Director of Airbus Defence and Space in the UK said: “Airbus Defence and Space’s team in the UK has been the leading European player in satellite ground control systems for over 20 years. Winning this contract will enable us to further develop our prime capability and expertise in this field and to contribute to the timely delivery of the Galileo system.”

David Willetts, Minister of State for Universities and Science, said: “Airbus Defence and Space's success in this contract is recognition of the UK's track record of excellence in a dynamic sector of the European economy. New uses for satellite navigation data are being developed every day, and here in the UK, we are building the infrastructure to take advantage of the opportunities that involvement in the Galileo programme can bring. I am determined that we should continue to foster the strong growth in the UK space sector, in line with the commitments of the Space Innovation and Growth Strategy.”


About Airbus Defence and Space

Airbus Defence and Space is the number one company in Europe for space technologies and a wholly owned subsidiary of AIRBUS Group, dedicated to providing civil and defence space systems and services.

In 2010, Airbus Defence and Space had a turnover of €5 billion and more than 15,000 employees worldwide, mainly in France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain and the Netherlands. Its three main areas of activity are Airbus Defence and Space for launchers and orbital infrastructure, Airbus Defence and Space for spacecraft and ground segment, and Airbus Defence and Space for comprehensive end-to-end solutions covering secure and commercial satcoms and networks, high security satellite communications equipment, bespoke geo-information and navigation services worldwide.

AIRBUS Group is a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services. In 2010, the Group – comprising Airbus, Airbus Defence and Space, Cassidian and Eurocopter – generated revenues of €45.8 billion and employed a workforce of nearly 122,000.

Press contacts:

Daniel Mosely (Airbus Defence and Space UK)                                                      Tel.: +44 (0)1 438 77 8180

Gregory Gavroy (Airbus Defence and Space FR)                                                    Tel.: +33 (0) 1 77 75 80 32

Ralph Heinrich (Airbus Defence and Space GER)                                       Tel.: +49 (0) 89 607 33971

Francisco Lechón (Airbus Defence and Space SP)                                     Tel.: +34 91 586 37 41