• The contract finances the development and industrialisation of the Ariane 6 launcher through the fully operational level, set for 2023, with a first flight scheduled in 2020 • Airbus Safran launchers is the prime contractor for Ariane 6
The European Space Agency (ESA) and Airbus Safran Launchers today signed a €2.4 billion contract covering the development of the Ariane 6 launcher in its two versions, Ariane 62 and 64.
This contract includes, notably, a firm commitment of some €680 million for initial development activities (phases A & B) up to the Preliminary Design Review scheduled for mid-2016.
Beyond the contract signed today the total amount for the development of the launcher will be approximately €3 billion, including boosters to be shared by Ariane and Vega, as well as €400 million of industrial investment .
“The contract - signed within a matter of months of the historic decision taken by representatives of the ESA member states during the Ministerial Conference on 2 December 2014 in Luxembourg to build a latest generation European launcher - will see industry taking on the leading role in its design and marketing,” said Alain Charmeau, CEO of Airbus Safran Launchers. “Both our and our European industrial partners’ commitment is a sign of our determination to provide our customers, whether they be institutional or commercial, with a launcher that is as reliable as ever while being increasingly competitive and adapted to the rapidly evolving space market. I would once again like to thank the European Space Agency and the national agencies, in particular the CNES, the DLR and ASI, for their support and trust.”
The Airbus Safran Launchers teams will now finalise the design of the two versions of the Ariane 6 launcher and the accompanying industrialisation process as part of a new industrial structure established within Europe to improve efficiency.
The creation of Airbus Safran Launchers opens a new chapter in the history of the launcher industry. Reflecting the joint ambition of Airbus Group and Safran to boost the European space industry to unscaled heights, our new company will develop innovative and competitive solutions by uniting the strengths of two leading contributors to modern launch vehicles.
Airbus Safran Launchers is equally owned, combining Airbus Defence and Space’s expertise in launchers (especially in France and Germany), and Safran’s expertise in liquid and solid rocket propulsion.
The goal of Airbus Safran Launchers is to provide comprehensive, advantageous solutions in this increasingly competitive market, based on a family of versatile, high-performance, cost-competitive launchers that meet the needs of both government and commercial customers.