European launch services company Arianespace has announced the signing of an agreement with the Italian supplier Avio to start production of 10 new Vega C rockets, to be launched as of 2023.
“Arianespace is delighted to have signed this agreement with our long-standing partner Avio, confirming the ramp-up of Vega C, in particular to meet European government requirements,” Stéphane Israël, CEO of Arianespace, said. “Through this long-term supply, Arianespace kicks off its order for a fourth batch of Vega launchers, the first comprising only upgraded Vega C launchers."
"A number of European Earth observation and science programs, most notably Copernicus, will fully benefit from the greater competitiveness of Vega C.
"More than ever, Vega is establishing its role as the second pillar of Europe’s space access capabilities, along with Ariane.”
Giulio Ranzo, CEO of Avio, commented: “We are delighted to receive a new batch order for Vega C, which confirms Arianespace’s customers’ interest and trust in the new launcher product, which is the result of an effective cooperation among several European industries under Avio’s leadership”.
The agreement was signed in Rome on March 19, 2021 by Stéphane Israël, CEO of Arianespace, and Giulio Ranzo, CEO of Avio, during a meeting between Bruno Le Maire, French Minister of the Economy, Finance and Recovery, and Giancarlo Giorgetti, Italian Minister of Economic Development.
Vega C launchers produced within Batch 4 will serve institutional and commercial missions from 2023 onwards; in particular, they will contribute to the fulfillment of strategic objectives selected by European institutions, either collectively through ESA and the European Commission, or for national purposes.
Thus, 2021 will see the contracting by Arianespace of launch services for the next nine Copernicus satellites within the Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027 of the European Commission.