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The European Space Agency and Airbus Safran Launchers, industrial prime contractor of the Ariane 6 launcher, have today signed the amendment to the agreement 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 signed today allows ESA to notify Airbus Safran Launchers of the commitment of the €1.7 billion required to continue development, and then production and operation.
The amendment to the agreement signed today 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 program.
The teams at Airbus Safran Launchers and its partners will now finalize the development of the two versions of the Ariane 6 launcher and commence the production process with the new industrial organisation successfully implemented after the 2014 Ministerial Conference to revolutionize and enhance the competitiveness of European launcher governance in a global market undergoing massive change.
“Thanks to the trust and support of ESA and its Member States’ representatives, the industry has met its commitments and proved its ability to fulfill its role as a design and industrial authority. We have met the deadlines and quality objectives set, and now, thanks to the industrial organization 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.”
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