Astrium Wins ESA, EDA Contracts
[Satellite TODAY 01-07-10] The European Space and Defense Agencies (ESA, EDA) issued two contracts to Astrium to enhance the performance of Arianespace’s Ariane 5 launch vehicle and put together a new preparatory study aimed at coordinating the future military communication needs of the European Union (EU), Astrium announced Jan. 6.
EADS Astrium was awarded 150 million euros by the ESA to increase the payload capacity of the Ariane 5 by 20 percent to 12 metric tons following the development of a new upper stage. The enhanced rocket will be named Ariane ME and is scheduled to enter service in 2017.
Astrium Services also signed a contract with the EDA to produce a study to support the creation of a centralized system for the procurement of satellite communications on commercial space capacity, such as Ku-, Ka- and C-bands.
Over the next year, Astrium Services will map out the (satellite communications) requirements of the European member states’ respective armed forces, whilst developing an operational framework for the European Satellite Communication Procurement Cell.
“Astrium Services will enable the EDA to develop a flexible procurement process across the EU. Over the next year, we will be working closely with member states to assess their [satellite communications] requirements and their communication needs and we will propose the ESCPC solutions,” Astrium CEO Eric Beranger said in a statement.
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