[Satnews] At the presentation of his New Year’s greetings to the press, Alain Charmeau, CEO of Airbus Safran Launchers, looked back at the activities of the first year of the company, which was created in January 2015, following the ESA Ministerial Conference of December 2014.
“In January 2015, Ariane 6 was still only a concept! One year later, the teams have succeeded in finalizing both its design and its industrial set-up, to produce a launcher at half the cost. The heart of Ariane 6 is starting to beat! This launcher will be flexible, modular and far more competitive, thanks to the implementation of an industrial organization employing the latest technologies and a modernized and optimized industrial method built around clusters of excellence,” Mr. Charmeau said. “A way of functioning in an extended enterprise, enabling all the partners in the program to work together has been put in place, and a dedicated building, where partners work on a shared digital mock-up, was inaugurated in Les Mureaux on 15 December 2015.”
Airbus Safran Launchers is the lead contractor for Ariane 6 and is developing the new launcher under a contract signed with the European Space Agency on August 12, 2015. At the same time, the teams from Airbus Safran Launchers and their parent companies completed in 2015 6 Ariane 5 launches in 7 months and have already succeeded in the first launch of 2016. At least 7 launches are planned for this year, including one with four Galileo satellites and an Ariane 5 ECA+ capable of lifting a gross mass of 10.7 tonnes into geostationary orbit.
Airbus Safran Launchers is a joint-venture between Airbus Group and Safran and will constitute a pooling of exceptional capabilities in Europe, for both civil and military launchers employing more than 8,000 staff.