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Contract signed for Eight New Satellites for Europe’s Galileo Constellation

on 30 June 2017

Europe’s Galileo navigation constellation approaches completion with eight new satellites being added, as decided via a contract signed at the Paris Air and Space Show, an event which took place between 19 – 25 June 2017.

The contract to build and test another eight Galileo satellites was awarded to a consortium led by prime contractor OHB, with Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd overseeing their navigation platforms.

“This procurement from OHB will enable the completion of the Galileo constellation and have reserves both in-orbit and on-ground,” said Paul Verhoef, the Director of the Galileo Programme and Navigation-related Activities. “This signing delivers the necessary infrastructure robustness that is essential for the provision of Galileo services worldwide.”

Galileo is Europe’s own satellite navigation system, providing an array of positioning, navigation and timing services to Europe and the world. With 18 satellites now in orbit, Galileo began Initial Services on 15 December 2016, the first step towards full operational capability.

Further launches will continue to build the satellite constellation, which will gradually improve the system performance and availability worldwide. The launch by Ariane 5 of another four satellites is due to take place later this year. The full Galileo constellation will consist of 24 operational satellites in three orbital planes plus orbital spares, intended to prevent any interruption in service.

Galileo is now providing three service types, the availability of which will continue to be improved. More details are available here.

The public will begin benefiting as Galileo-capable devices enter the marketplace: 17 companies, representing more than 95% of global supply, now produce Galileo-ready chips.

More details about the eight new satellites can be accessed here.

Image credit: ESA