Italian and German JV awarded Galileo operator contract

Thursday 15 December 2016 | 15:27 CET | News

The European GNSS Agency (GSA) has announced that the tender to operate the EU’s flagship Galileo navigation system has been awarded to Spaceopal, a joint venture between Italy’s Telespazio (Leonardo-Finmeccanica/Thales) and the German Space Agency (DLR). The EUR 1.5 billion ten-year contract covers the operation and maintenance of the Galileo satellite system and its committed performance level, starting in January 2017.

Specifically, under GSA management the contract awarded to Spaceopal includes secure operations of Galileo from two mission control centres (GCC), located in Germany and Italy, and the European GNSS Service Centre (GSC) for user support services in Spain; management of the Galileo Data Distribution Network (GDDN); integrated logistics support and maintenance for the entire space and ground infrastructure; monitoring of the system performance and support for the completion of the Galileo infrastructure and associated launches.

The contract award was announced on the day the European Commission’s revealed that Galileo has finally started sending signals to receivers. The EC said smartphones with Galileo-supported chipsets are already on the market and Galileo will also be found in every new car in the EU by 2018 thanks to the mandatory eCall system. 

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