Airbus Defence and Space, the world’s second largest space company, has signed as the leader of the industrial team (including Thales Alenia Space as co-prime contractor), a contract with the Armed Forces of the United Arab Emirates (UAEAF) for the development, manufacture and launch of Falcon Eye, a high-performance optical Earth-observation satellite system. The contract was officially signed by the United Arab Emirates in August 2014 and is now entering into force.
The contract includes manufacture of two satellites offering high-resolution optical capabilities and a ground system for monitoring, receiving and processing images, as well as a training programme for the engineers from the United Arab Emirates who will control and operate the satellites once in orbit.
”The Falcon Eye high-performance Earth-observation satellite system will provide an unrivalled observation capability to the Emirate’s Armed Forces,” said François Auque, Head of Space Systems. “This contract consolidates Airbus Defence and Space’s position as the world leader in the export of Earth-observation satellite systems and is a major show of confidence in our company’s technology and, further, in the French and European space capabilities in the field of Earth observation.
“This very wide-ranging cooperation programme is, along with the Yahsat communication satellite system, another example of the sustainable cooperation between Airbus Defence and Space and the United Arab Emirates”, Auque added.
This programme is the latest in a series of satellites based on technologies that have been successfully used on a raft of missions including Pléiades, SPOT 6 & 7, Ingenio, KazEOSat-1 and the satellite sold to Peru earlier this year, environmental monitoring satellites (Sentinel 2) and meteorology satellites (Sentinel 5P) both for the European Space Agency (ESA). This cutting-edge system will also benefit from the unique expertise developed by Airbus Defence and Space in the field of highly agile and stable platforms. The program will be run from its facility in Toulouse in the south of France.