Norwegian Galileo GPS bill skyrockets / News / The Foreigner

Norwegian Galileo GPS bill skyrockets. The EU’s ambitious Galileo satellite navigation system could go three times over budget, according to WikiLeaks documents published by Aftenposten. Norway helped jumpstart what is now to be the 30-satellite project with a 22.07 million euro contribution (176.6 million kroner). It also agreed to contribute to Galileo with 68.9 million euro (551 million kroner) for the 2008– 2013 period. EU calculations in 2007 of an annual expenditure for Galileo close to 200 million euro (approximately 1.6 billion kroner) proved to be grossly inaccurate as expenditure grew to reach 800 million euro.

galileogpsnavigation, berrysmutny, ohbsystems, matspersson, openeurope, antoniotajani, europeancommission



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Norwegian Galileo GPS bill skyrockets

Published on Thursday, 20th January, 2011 at 22:41 under the news category, by Ramona Tancau.
Last Updated on 26th January 2011 at 22:15.

The EU’s ambitious Galileo satellite navigation system could go three times over budget, according to WikiLeaks documents published by Aftenposten.

Soyuz on launch pad ready for lift off
Soyuz on launch pad ready for lift off
Photo: ESA - P. Müller


Up in smoke?

Norway helped jumpstart what is now to be the 30-satellite project with a 22.07 million euro contribution (176.6 million kroner). It also agreed to contribute to Galileo with 68.9 million euro (551 million kroner) for the 2008– 2013 period.

EU calculations in 2007 of an annual expenditure for Galileo close to 200 million euro (approximately 1.6 billion kroner) proved to be grossly inaccurate as expenditure grew to reach 800 million euro.

Mr Berry Smutny, CEO of Germany’s leading satellite manufacturer OHB-Systems, told US representatives in Berlin his opinion was the total cost of Galileo could triple to as much as 10 billion euro (80 billion kroner). OHB won a 566 million euro (4.5 billion kroner) contract to build the first 14 satellites of the system.

However, he also called Galileo a “redundant” alternative to the GPS that France campaigned for after allegations that the US had manipulated the GPS during the Kosovo Conflict, describing the entire project as “a waste of EU tax payers money.” and “a stupid idea that primarily serves French interests."

Mr Smutney was fired this week. He subsequently denied ever having made these comments, telling reporters “I have not said anything I am quoted as saying but it is true that I had an informal lunch with them (US officials). I have not said that Galileo is a stupid idea, the reality is that I’ve been a proponent of Galileo.”

In a press statement, the OHB–Systems board of directors argued that the company must protect its reputation.

“We want to prevent him damaging our reputation to customers, politicians and the public further.”

Off-road

Adding to Galileo’s problems is a projected annual 6 billion kroner loss, despite expected returns from commercial activities and private, encrypted government services of about 70 million euros (56 million kroner).

Mats Persson, director of independent think tank Open Europe, says he believes Galileo is badly-managed, and is worried about the prospects of the project in light of current European economic problems.

"It would be a terrible loss if it was decided not to complete Galileo, at the same time I believe it will be continued for a little while longer. It can go both ways,” he told Aftenposten last week.

Meanwhile, European Commission Vice President Antonio Tajani says in a press release that the EU is “determined to realise the project” and ensure that it can compete in the global aerospace market.

Norway now faces an annual deficit of approximately 140 million kroner.



Published on Thursday, 20th January, 2011 at 22:41 under the news category, by Ramona Tancau.
Last updated on 26th January 2011 at 22:15.

This post has the following tags: galileogpsnavigation, berrysmutny, ohbsystems, matspersson, openeurope, antoniotajani, europeancommission.





  
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