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Satnews Daily
November 7th, 2017

Thales Alenia Space Belgian's Nozzle Steering Expertise Steers Them into Winning SABCA Contract for Ariane 6 

This company has been the primary party building the Ariane 6 launcher, and now another contract has been awarded to them for their expertise in nozzle steering. The company, ..

Thales Alenia Space has signed a contract with SABCA, prime contractor for the three Thrust Vector Actuation Systems (TVAS) on the new Ariane 6 launcher, to develop and supply control electronics for nozzle steering.

ArianeGroup is prime contractor for Ariane 6 on behalf of the European Space Agency (ESA). This latest contract follows another already signed with ArianeGroup that places Thales Alenia Space in charge of developing the Ariane 6 range safeguard system.

Artist's view of the Ariane 6 four boosters configuration (A64)
Copyright ESA–D. Ducros, 2014
  • Through its contract with SABCA, Thales Alenia Space will develop electronics for the following: Solid Thrust Vector Actuation Subsystem (S-TVAS) for the P120C solid rocket boosters. The twin booster Ariane 62 version of the launcher will have two S-TVAS units, while the four booster Ariane 64 will have four of these units.
  • Lower-Liquid Thrust Vector Actuation Subsystem (LL-TVAS), for the cryogenic stage.
  • Upper-Liquid Thrust Vector Actuation Subsystem (UL-TVAS), for the reignitable cryogenic upper stage.

Emmanuel Terrasse, Chief Executive Officer of Thales Alenia Space in Belgium commented that Thales Alenia Space is delighted to have contributed to the storied Ariane program for over 40 years now, continuing with the contract signed today. He continued that this contract win is the result of a collaborative effort by Belgian industry, plus the ongoing support of public authorities at both the federal level, with organizations such as Belspo that actively support the development of new technologies and products, and at the regional level, through support for the installation of innovative test and production facilities.

Thales Alenia Space will also take full responsibility for designing and building the electronics that form the core of the Ariane 6 range safeguard system. The company provides other range safeguard system components that are shared with Ariane 5, Vega and Soyuz.

The development of Ariane 6 was approved by the ESA Council in December 2014 to ensure that Europe maintains its leadership in the fast-changing commercial launch market, while also addressing requirements for European governmental missions. The launcher will be developed in two versions: Ariane 62, with two solid propellant strap-on boosters and Ariane 64, with four solid-propellant strap-on boosters. The first Ariane 6 launch is expected in 2020.