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ESA commits to continuation of Ariane 6 Programme

Ariane 6 at the new launch pad; Copyright ESA–David Ducros, 2016
Ariane 6 at the new launch pad; Copyright ESA–David Ducros, 2016

The European Space Agency and Airbus Safran Launchers, industrial prime contractor of the Ariane 6 launcher, have signed the amendment to their initial agreement, signed on of 12 August 2015, committing the entire €2.4 billion planned for the development, production and operation of the two versions of the Ariane 6 launcher, Ariane 62 and 64.

The agreement of 12 August 2015 included a firm commitment of approximately €680 million to carry out the initial development (phases A and B) through to the preliminary design review (PDR) in mid-2016. The amendment allows ESA to notify Airbus Safran Launchers of the commitment of the €1.7 billion required to continue development, and then production and operation.

This follows the success of the in-depth review carried out in June, first by the industry (Maturity Gate 5) and then by the ESA Member States, which carefully examined the work done by Airbus Safran Launchers and its partners. This review confirmed the maturity of the launcher’s development in relation to the goals set at the ESA Ministerial Conference in December 2014 in terms of costs, lead-times and technical performances.

Following this review, the representatives of the ESA Member States unanimously voted in favour of continuing the Ariane 6 programme.

Jean-Yves Le Gall, Thierry Mandon, Jan Woerner, Alain Charmeau during Signing of Contract for the Programme on the ARIANE; Credits: ESA
Jean-Yves Le Gall, Thierry Mandon, Jan Woerner, Alain Charmeau during Signing of Contract for the Programme on the ARIANE; Credits: ESA

“Thanks to the trust and support of ESA and its Member States’ representatives, the industry has met its commitments and proved its ability to fulfil its role as a design and industrial authority. We have met the deadlines and quality objectives set, and now, thanks to the industrial organisation rolled out in record time, we can continue to develop a flexible, modular and competitive launcher that will fly in 2020”, said Alain Charmeau, CEO of Airbus Safran Launchers. “Our commitment and that of our European industrial partners shows our determination to provide our institutional and commercial customers with an equally reliable and more competitive launcher adapted to the rapidly changing space market.”

The teams at Airbus Safran Launchers and its partners will now finalise the development of the two versions of the Ariane 6 launcher. The production process will commence with the new industrial organisation, successfully implemented after the 2014 Ministerial Conference, to revolutionise and enhance the competitiveness of European launcher governance in a global market undergoing massive change.

Original published at: http://spacewatchme.com/2016/11/esa-commits-to-continuation-of-ariane-6-programme/

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