Space Alliance to boost UK’s space industry sector

Source: Thales

During a launch event at the Farnborough International Airshow, the Space Alliance has unveiled plans to boost the UK’s £16.5Bn space sector with the full backing of defence and security giants Leonardo and Thales, both of which have major UK-based operations.

The Space Alliance is a global partnership between Leonardo and Thales which brings together leading space technology companies Telespazio (a joint venture between Leonardo, 67%, and Thales, 33%) and Thales Alenia Space (a joint venture between Thales, 67%, and Leonardo, 33%), which collectively employ over 11,000 people worldwide. In response to the publication of the UK’s National Space Strategy and Defence Space Strategy, the Space Alliance is moving to invest in and focus on growth in the UK, backed by parent companies Leonardo and Thales.

The Space Alliance in the UK is a strong industry team that can draw also on the technologies and resources of Leonardo UK and Thales UK, both well established as national champions in their respective fields. Together, Leonardo and Thales spend £1.3Bn annually with over 4,000 companies in the UK and invest more than £250M every year in UK-based research and development. The team employs 14,000 people across 25 sites in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Space technology and expertise at these sites is already being used to protect and defend military assets and critical national infrastructure. Meanwhile, the collection of data from cutting-edge sensors in orbit is increasingly being utilised for vital decision-making. The complementary capabilities of Thales Alenia Space in satellite systems and Telespazio in the services associated with them provides the Space Alliance with all the necessary expertise to respond effectively to market needs. In addition to bringing its existing onshore capabilities to bear in support of the National Space Strategy and Defence Space Strategy, the Alliance also plans to develop new skills and knowledge in the UK, drawing on its 60 years of involvement in major European space programmes. These have included the delivery of Galileo navigation services, military satellite communications programmes and the production and operation of the Copernicus Earth observation satellites.

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