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Volume 508: debated on Monday 29 March 2010

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what estimate has been made of the number of satellites which can be launched and maintained within the £3.4 billion funding ceiling for the Galileo project. (324525)

The €3.4 billion budget is the cost for full operational capability (FOC) of the Galileo system which is to build all necessary space and ground-based infrastructures, including the launch of 30 satellites. The European Commission let a contract for 14 satellites in January this year. The procurement process is still ongoing so the final contract prices are not yet known.

Costs related to the maintenance of the Galileo system fall to the next European Financial Perspective starting in 2014. The European Commission will come forward later this year with a mid-term review of the programme which will make proposals for the operation and maintenance of the system.