SELEX Galileo, a Finmeccanica Company, has signed a contract worth of €18m with OHB System AG, prime contractor for the Galileo Full Operating Capability (FOC) satellite, to provide 16 Passive Hydrogen MASER (PHM) atomic clocks for the Galileo constellation, a programme of and funded by the European Union.

This award follows an earlier contract, signed by SELEX Galileo in 2010, to supply 28 PHMs for the first work order of Galileo* FOC navigation satellites.

The PHM clocks are to be installed on each of the 22 satellites in the Galileo FOC system, each satellite is equipped with 2 PHMs as a master clock. The Passive Hydrogen MASER is the most stable clock ever produced for space applications with a frequency stability better than 10-14 day, and has demonstrated outstanding performance on board the Galileo* GIOVE B pre-operational satellite.

Four PHMs are already flying on board two of the first four satellites of the Galileo IOV navigation system. The frequency stability of the PHMs will guarantee the precision required by the Galileo system for more than eight hours without any correction or upload from the ground.

Fabrizio Giulianini, CEO of SELEX Galileo, said: "The success of this unique product and the recognition of its outstanding performance is a demonstration of SELEX Galileo’s technological excellence in the development of Space equipment and payloads."

The Full Operational Capability phase of the Galileo programme is managed and fully funded by the European Union. The Commission and ESA have signed a delegation agreement by which ESA acts as design and procurement agent on behalf of the Commission. The views expressed in this Press Release can in no way be taken to reflect the official opinion of the European Union and/or ESA. "Galileo" is a trademark subject to OHIM application number 002742237 by EU and ESA.