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We can support Turkey in their Space ambitions /An interview with François Auque, Astrium CEO

Defence Turkey: Where does y

Issue 15

We have had an association with Aselsan for satellite communication systems since 2000. Our subsidiary Spot Image has a ground station for receiving images from satellites, in Turkey since 2002. But we would like to offer more.
Defence Turkey: Like what?
Turkey is fast developing its expertise and capabilities in the field of space systems: first in satellites and perhaps later for launchers. Some companies, universities and research organizations are developing, manufacturing and employing space hardware and services. As the European leader for space technology, Astrium is very keen and ideally suited to propose its world leading expertise to support Turkey’s space ambitions.
The ability to control and maximise the use of space assets is increasingly important in our rapidly changing world - and Turkey is on course to become a respected player in space in Europe and even globally -, both as supplier and partner.
In Astrium we cover the entire range of space applications and technologies, everything from detailed data provided by our subsidiaries such as Infoterra and Spot Image to sophisticated secure satellite communications systems and services. We are looking to play a key part in raising Turkey’s space expertise to the highest level.Turkey will soon be able to generate its own data - and Astrium will be able to make use of them globally.


Defence Turkey: A win-win partnership?
We believe so. This is why we are looking to invite customers and political decision makers in Turkey to enter into discussions about forming a global partnership to develop space capabilities and enable Turkey to become a leading player in Europe and beyond.
Astrium’s reliability is recognized worldwide. We deliver on cost and on time. Being by far the leading European space company, which manufactures Ariane 5 (28 successful launches in a row) and the French ballistic missiles, Astrium has a complete range of space capabilities. We have already developed large partnerships in the field of space with Russia, India, Korea, Thailand, Algeria and others… We have recently been selected as strategic partner by Kazakhstan.
We are therefore the preferred candidate for any strategic partnership for current and future space activities in Turkey – both civil and military.
Astrium could become both customer and supplier for the Turkish space industry, the partner for development of competencies and skills and also the partner in global space markets. Last but not least, with its current ambitions, Turkey may become a first row player in the European Space Agency (ESA) and require a strong partner to develop the special skills required to manage and conduct ambitious ESA space projects.
Defence Turkey: How could this partnership materialize?
There are some opportunities on the horizon. We expect invitations to tender for a new Turksat telecommunications satellite and for a military radar satellite in 2009. This gives us the chance to offer the latest solutions for Turkish customers and citizens. Astrium is among the global leading players for telecommunication satellites with its highly reliable and cost efficient Eurostar 3000 series. We are also the leading player for radar satellites; our TerraSAR-X satellite provides state-of-the art data to civil and military customers around the world. Even highly demanding customers such as the US NGA have recently stated this leading edge satellite technology meets and perhaps exceeds their requirements.
Defence Turkey: where do discussions on satellite services and applications stand?
Discussions between Turkish organizations and our subsidiary, the Spot Infoterra Group are ongoing. This Astrium Services subsidiary is among the leading global players and can offer a broad range of products, e.g. telecom services, Earth observation data and services and also navigation services.
There are many business models in these segments, also enabling and even requiring partnerships with Turkish industries and organizations. These partners can, among others things, become value adders or distribution partners for us, as I mentioned before. Being a strong player in services enables Turkey to satisfy many of its civil and military needs in terms of space based information and our model is proving very successful to date. We could provide immediate solutions to Turkish customers for example in the areas of cartography, crop monitoring, navigation, land use and management, maritime surveillance and of course all security applications – all vital for Turkey because of its geopolitical position. The need for services is increasingly a key driver for space systems and our central philosophy is to serve our customers: keeping them up to date, providing training on key technologies, working with them at every step of the way and of course developing our relationship.

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