France: Galileo, Europe’s satellite navigation system will face further delays and cost up to EUR 1.7 billion (USD 2.32 billion) more than expected, according to German newspaper Financial Times Deutschland.
The newspaper quoted a German government report saying Galileo would suffer losses for a long time to come. It said the European Union (EU) would face additional costs of EUR 1.5-1.7 billion for the Galileo. The total costs for European Union taxpayers to set up and operate the system would be about EUR 20 billion over the next 20 years.
The first two Galileo satellites are expected to be launched in the third quarter of 2011 and a total of 22 by 2017/18 — or 10 years later than originally expected, the newspaper mentioned. The project, Europe’s biggest single space programme, has been hit by delays and disputes over funding that ended when the 27-nation European Union agreed to invest public money.
German group OHB (OHBG.DE) snatched an EU order for 14 satellites for the Galileo. The contract was seen as a coup for the small German company which, in 2007, tried jointly with partners to buy three German factories from EADS unit Airbus before talks collapsed due to difficulties financing the deal. EADS Astrium and OHB will continue to compete for orders for remaining satellites in the programme.