ESA has signed a 20 million euros contract rider with the Joint Propulsion Team consortium composed of Avio SpA (I), Astrium GmbH (D) and Snecma (Groupe SAFRAN) (F), for the development of the future liquid engine demonstrator for the European Next Generation Launcher first stage, the High Thrust Engine Demonstrator.
The contract, for which activities started in 2007, has a total value of more than 33 million euros and integrates key European competence from 14 companies in 9 countries. It will cover industrial activities of ESA’s Future Launchers Preparatory Programme (FLPP) Period 2, until mid-2010. Liquid propulsion has been selected for main stage propulsion trade-offs due to its its flexibility, growth potential, and proven record. The project encompasses a complete set of technology activities on advanced subsystems, to meet ambitious objectives in terms of cost and reliability. In parallel, integrated system demonstrator studies are being performed, aiming at selecting the reference design by mid-2010 and progressing towards the hot-firing test of a mid-scale engine demonstrator around 2014, which could also evolve into a pre-development phase.