The final two contracts for the FOC phase of Europe’s global navigation satellite programme Galileo were signed on 22nd June 2011 by the European Space Agency on behalf of the European Commission at Le Bourget, Paris. The contract signed with Thales Alenia Space (FR), for the Ground Mission Segment (GMS) has a value of €281 million. The contract signed with Astrium (UK) for the Ground Control Segment (GCS) has a value of €73.5 million.
Signature of the two contracts is essential for the further deployment of the Galileo system, having in mind the first launch of the Galileo IOV satellites scheduled for 20th October this year.
The contract awards end the FOC Procurement Process which started on 1st of July 2008. The procurement was divided into six work packages. In January 2010, three contracts were awarded related to system engineering support, the Galileo satellites and the launchers. A fourth contract was signed in Brussels in October 2010 with SpaceOpal GmbH for operating the space and ground infrastructure. However, the procurement of Galileo satellites will continue with a reduced level of competition as until today only a framework contract with OHB System AG and Astrium GmbH was signed. Under the framework a specific contract was awarded to OHB for the first batch of 14 out of 26 FOC Satellites. The remaining satellites have to be procured in competition between the two companies, yet.
Galileo will provide three early services in 2014/2015 based on an initial constellation of 18 satellites: an initial Open Service, an initial Public Regulated Service and an initial Search-and-Rescue Service. Further services to follow later will cover a Commercial Service combining two encrypted signals for higher data throughput rate and higher accuracy authenticated data.