The European Commission announced that it has selected the consortium led by OHB-System AG and Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd for building and testing 14 satellites for the Galileo navigation system.
As a result of this decision, OHB-System will be assuming the role of prime contractor for the fabrication of the 14 satellites, including full responsibility for developing the satellite platform and overall integration of the satellites. SSTL will build and integrate the navigation payloads and support OHB with the final integration, using its experience from GIOVE-A, the first Galileo satellite, launched in 2005.
The European Commission divided the invitation for proposals into six segments. OHB and SSTL jointly submitted bids for the “satellite” segment — i.e. the development, construction and testing of up to 28 satellites, procured on the basis of mini-competitions between the bidders which have been awarded multi-supplier framework contracts. The award concerns a first work order of 14 satellites, with mini-competitions for other work orders to follow at later stages. Further segments for which bids were requested incldue system support, ground mission system, ground control system, operations and launchers.
Commenting on the contract, Lord Drayson, Science & Innovation Minister, said, “This is great news for Surrey-based satellite manufacturer SSTL and the British space industry. The contract for 14 satellites will provide approximately £212m of work for SSTL and cement their position as key player in this booming industry.
“The UK is fast becoming a world-wide destination for high-tech, high-skilled advanced manufacturing, and the UK space and satellite industry, with their strong order books for the next five years is a sterling example of this.
“It is these high-tech sectors which are bucking the trend during the recession, creating jobs and stimulating economic growth. Looking ahead, our space industry is forecast to grow on average by about 5% a year until 2020. This new contract will only strengthen its position further.”