Airbus Defence and Space

Airbus Defence and Space signs a €60 million rider with ESA and its joint propulsion team partners Avio Spa and SNECMA for the Next Generation Launcher High Thrust Engine

Le Bourget Air Show, 22 June 2011 – Airbus Defence and Space, Europe’s leading space company, continues to prepare Europe’s future propulsion technology by signing a €60 million rider with the European Space Agency (ESA) and its partners of the joint propulsion team consortium, Avio SpA (Italy) and SNECMA (SAFRAN Group) (France). The contract is part of ESA’s Future Launchers Preparatory Programme (FLPP). The activities were started back in 2007 and have accumulated a value of more than €100 million.

Following the successful system requirements review in May 2011, this rider covers further important development steps towards engine and subsystems preliminary design reviews for the Next Generation Launcher (NGL) first stage engine demonstrator to be reached by mid-2013. The engine demonstrator is focused on maximizing the implementation of key enabling technologies which are being developed by 14 companies from nine European countries.

Airbus Defence and Space is responsible for the thrust chamber assembly and jointly with SNECMA for the pre-burner design of the demonstrator. All principal combustion device technologies have already been subjected to first experimental tests over the previous years. Within the current €60 million contract rider, the final demonstrator design configuration shall now be hot fire tested on an advanced subscale level by Airbus Defence and Space. The completion of these tests will assure a successful closure of the combustion device subsystems preliminary design reviews planned for mid-2013.

The NGL project is part of ESA’s Future Launchers Preparatory Programme (FLPP), designed to prepare a proposal combining all the technical and organisational aspects of the programme for presentation at the next ESA ministerial conference in 2012.


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