Alcatel Space's president Pascale Sourisse believes Europe must increase its expenditure on space - or else it will lag behind the rest of the world.

Speaking at a press conference, Sourisse said: "Europe only spends around a quarter of what the US commits to space. And for defence it is even worse - around a fifteenth of the amount spend by our American cousins."

Pascale Sourisse

She added that with the current rush of developments in the fields of digital radio, digital TV, navigation and other applications it was imperative that European institutions started to sit up and take notice.

Sourisse says Alcatel Space has had five successful launches this year with a further 15 planned.

She also confirmed that Alcatel Space is on target to go ahead with its merger with the space businesses of Finmeccanica on 1 July.

Alcatel Space and Alenia Space will combine their respective space businesses to create Alcatel Alenia Space with combined estimated sales of E1.88 billion ($2.28bn) and a payroll of 7,200 people.

It will concentrate on the design, development, and manufacturing of space systems, satellites, equipment, instruments, payloads and associated ground systems. Alcatel Alenia Space will be 67% owned by Alcatel and 35% owned by Finmeccanica.

The second company will combine Telespazio with Alcatel Space's operations and services activities. The new company, to be called Telespazio, will have combined sales of E350m and employ 1,400 people.

It will concentrate on operations and services for satellite solutions, which includes the control of space systems as well as value-added services for networking, multimedia and earth observation. Telespazio's ownership will be split 33% Alcatel and 67% Finmeccanica.

Source: Flight Daily News