Thales Alenia Space has won a $930 million-value contract (€772m) from the European Commission (EC) and issued via the European Space Agency to build six ‘next generation’ Galileo satellites. However, the contract is reportedly funded at 9.6 per cent higher than the main rival bid from Airbus, which is also seeking a contract to build six additional Galileo positioning satellites.
The competitive bids are already shrouded in controversy because a third bidder, Germany-based OHB (and already a major past supplier to the existing Galileo fleet) lodged a complaint with the Munich Public Prosecutor alleging that former staff at OHB delivered technology and pricing data to Airbus.
The information, revealed by specialist trade source Space Intel Report (SIR), states that despite the criminal allegations being dismissed there might still be a civil action by OHB.
Meanwhile, the EC has suspended the contract award to Airbus.