Orolia Switzerland SA, a company from Neuchâtel, won a contract worth 8 million Swiss francs from defence, security and space electronics provider Selex ES, a Finmeccanica company. It will manufacture components for the Galileo satellite navigation system. Selex ES also builds the Radar, InfraRed Search and Track system (IRST), and Identification Friend or Foe System (IFF) for Saab’s Gripen E fighter.
The pan-European Galileo navigation system is to compete with the US GPS system in the near future. Currently four prototypes and two test satellites are in orbit, carrying nine atomic clocks by Orolia in Neuchâtel.
Selex ES, a global manufacturer of electronics including those for space applications, has assigned Orolia with another set of 16 atomic clocks. They are used to synchronise the navigation signals of the satellites. Saab is – should the Swiss Government proceed to buy 22 Gripen E – obliged to arrange for industrial cooperation in Switzerland, valued at 2.2 billion Swiss Francs. It can arrange this business by itself or ask other companies within its network to do so, as has happened in this case.
“Selex ES has a ‘balanced scorecard’ approach when selecting its suppliers which judges a potential supplier on a number of factors including price and past performance. Orolia was selected based on scoring highly in a number of these areas,” says Pascal Rochat, Managing Director at Orolia…
Orolia Switzerland currently employs a work force of some 75 people; its components for atomic clocks are sold under the brand “Spectratime”. The new contract is a continuation of previews contract for 14 satellites (28 units). Orolia been selected by ESA & Galileo contractual chain for this procurement as sole and unique atomic clock manufacturer in Europe and worldwide leader in space qualified atomic clocks.
Source / Author: Saab