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European Court suspends Galileo contract signings

February 8, 2021

By Chris Forrester

The European Court has suspended a massive $1.8 billion (€1.47bn) manufacturing contract with Airbus and Thales Alenia for production of Galileo sat-nav satellites. The Court is looking at allegations of trade secret thefts.

An objection to the Court from Germany-based satellite builder OHB-System which had pitched with the UK’s Surrey Satellite Technology (SSTL) on construction of part of the second-generation Galileo fleet. OHB complained to the Court on January 29th and asks for the cancellation of the Airbus/Thales contract which was awarded by the European Commission after the various Galileo-2 bids were assessed by the European Space Agency.

According to Space Intel Report (SIR) the Court has determined that the OHB complaint is relevant. SIR suggests that one or more of OHB’s former staffers allegedly transferred trade secrets to Airbus.

The contract calls for six satellites each to be made by Airbus and Thales Alenia. The timetable calls for the fleet deployment to start by 2024.

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