ESA and CNES sign assistance contracts for Ariane
On Tuesday at the Paris Air Show in Le Bourget, ESA and the French National Space Agency (Centre National d'Études Spatiales – CNES) signed two contracts covering the provision of assistance to ESA by CNES for parts of the Ariane launcher programme.
The new organisation of the European launcher sector, decided at the ESA Ministerial Conference in 2003, implied changes for the Ariane Programme in both the industrial and institutional areas.
For the industrial part of the programme, Astrium Space Transportation became the sole Prime Contractor for both development and production of Ariane launch vehicles.
The institutional part of the programme changed with the introduction of direct ESA management of all new ESA-funded Ariane programmes while making use of the existing knowledge and experience within CNES. Prior to this change, ESA delegated the management of the Ariane Programme to CNES.
These decisions were further consolidated at the Paris Air Show with the signature of contracts for assistance covering the Ariane Consolidation and Evolution Programme and the Ariane Accompaniment Program. The contracts run until the end of 2010.
The contracts were signed by ESA’s Director of Launcher Programmes, Antonio Fabrizi, and Lionel Ravet of the CNES Ariane Development Directorate on behalf of Michel Eymard, CNES Director of Launchers.
The new managerial arrangements are already in place. At the signing, Antonio Fabrizi remarked “We have actually been implementing this new management scheme for the last two years, starting with Slice 10 of the Ariane Development Programme, without any serious teething problems.”