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Satellite Communications Technology


European Commission orders a further four Galileo satellites from OHB

(5 October 2017 - OHB) The European Commission has exercised one of its contractual options for the European Galileo navigation system and ordered a further four satellites from OHB System AG.

As recently as in June 2017, the Bremen-based satellite producer had been awarded a contract for eight Galileo FOC) satellites under the Batch 3 tender. “Once again, the quality of our navigation satellites has spoken for itself. I am very grateful to the European Commission and the European Space Agency ESA for the confidence which they have placed in us and our partners,” says Marco Fuchs, Chief Executive Officer of OHB SE.

“Following the completion of the satellites under the contract awarded in June, we will be commencing work seamlessly on the four satellites under the new contract. The ambitious schedule means that looking forward reserve satellites will be available both in orbit and on the ground,” adds Dr. Wolfgang Paetsch, who is the member of the OHB System AG Management Board responsible for navigation, Earth observation and science.

The contract for the four satellites has a value of EUR 157.75 million. As with the previous contracts, OHB System AG in its capacity as the producer of the satellite platform and the system manager is responsible for the satellite design and platform, integration and verification. In addition, it will be providing support during the launch preparations and in-orbit verification. The contract increases the total number of Galileo satellites ordered from OHB System AG to 34. Of these, 14 are already in orbit. The satellite constellation is to be expanded incrementally.

Assembly work on the Ariane 6 launcher to commence in October

With a mass of 750 kilograms each, the Batch 3 satellites will be placed in their respective orbit approximately 23,000 kilometers above the surface of the Earth by Ariane 6 2 launchers. MT Aerospace AG, a subsidiary of OHB SE, is the largest supplier for the Ariane program outside the Ariane group. The Augsburg-based company supplies almost all of the tank and structural components for the new launcher. “Production will be commencing at the beginning of 2018 at the new halls built for this purpose in Augsburg,” says Hans J. Steininger, Chief Executive Officer of MT Aerospace AG. “We will be starting work on completing the upper stage tanks for the Ariane 6 at the MT hall at Bremen airport in the near future. With a floor area of 4,000 square meters, the hall has been specially built for this purpose.”

About the Galileo system

The European Galileo satellite navigation system will offer people in Europe and around the world numerous positioning, navigation and timekeeping services. Under the tender for Batch 3 in June 2017, a contract for the delivery of eight satellites was awarded to OHB System AG, followed now by a further four satellites, bringing to 26 the total of satellites produced to date. Of these,18 are currently in orbit. Preliminary Galileo services went live on December 15, 2016 in a preliminary step towards full operational mode. The constellation is to be expanded with the addition of further satellites. This incrementally increases the capabilities and global availability of the system.