CNES, the French space agency, has notified Astrium that the DGA, the French arms procurement agency, has awarded the company a €795 million contract for two satellites for the optical space component (CSO, Composante Spatiale Optique) that will replace the current Helios 2 military observation satellites. The first satellite is scheduled to enter orbit in December 2016. The contract also includes an option for a third satellite.
As prime contractor for the CSO satellites programme, Astrium will provide the agile platform and avionics, and will also be responsible for the integration work, testing and delivery of the satellites to CNES. Thales Alenia Space will provide Astrium with the very-high resolution optical instrument.
An agreement between France and Germany was reached in April 2015, under which Germany contributes 200 Million € to building a third satellite, and in exchange receives access rights to the imagery.
|Type / Application:||Reconnaissance, electro-optical|
|Contractors:||EADS Astrium → Airbus Defence and Space (bus); Thales Alenia Space (payload)|
|Power:||4 deployable fixed solar arrays, batteries|