Dutch contribution to launchers
One of the main Dutch companies working on the Ariane programme is Fokker Space*. This company is situated in Leiden, a beautiful city in the west of the Netherlands famous for its museums, canals and rich history.
Fokker Space, which is responsible for the development and engineering of the Ariane 5 thrust frame, has contracted the production to Fokker Special Products B.V. This company is part of the Stork Group and is located in Hoogeveen.
Assembly takes place in an area of approximately 20 x 30 metres. The floor of the building has been especially strengthened and prepared so that it can support the large fixtures and fixed measurement devices on a single separate foundation.
One of the instruments used is a fixed optical control system, which allows a highly accurate check of the thrust frame’s dimensions during assembly. The assembly room is also equipped with a mobile crane capable of lifting 3200 kg.
Once assembly is completed a thermal protective system is applied to the structure. This work is carried out in a separate area, which contains isolated rooms for preparation, spraying and drying. A dedicated system enables the fully automated spraying of the structure.
Another Dutch company carrying out work for ESA is Stork Product Engineering. This is also part of the Stork Group and is based in Amsterdam.
Stork Product Engineering is responsible for developing the igniters for the Vulcain engines as well as the ignition system for the new Vinci engine and the igniters for ESA’s new Vega launcher. APP, in the town of Klundert, is responsible for the production of the starter and igniters for the Vulcain engine, and Genius Klinkenberg, situated in Zaandam, is producing the transport container for the EPC and ESC-A upper stage.
* In 2002 Fokker Space changed its name to Dutch Space.