Military forces of the European Union could stand to be one of the biggest beneficiaries of the Galileo navigation satellite, the public project that has hit controversy following alleged poor project management by its private company consortium.
The EU’s 27 country members took control of the project that was jointly initiated with the European Space Agency last Friday as costs started to blow out and management issues grew, opening the doors for public funding and financing.
The military is also interested in a satellite navigation system that reduces the EU’s reliance on US satellite systems. According to key project partner EADS, a maker of military technology, Galileo could provide anytime, anywhere, secure and reliable navigation.
It can also help with the precise delivery of bombs and missiles, according to some reports.
Galileo, once finalised (it is due for completion in 2008), will be a £2.3bn network of 30 satellites which will orbit the earth at 23,222km. Monitoring of these satellites will take place at two European control stations.
The original project kicked off four years ago with civilian use clearly in mind, including increased monitoring for the emergency services.