Contract worth £121m is awarded to space firm

Have your say

A CONTRACT worth more than £120m has been awarded to a space firm.

Airbus Defence and Space, which has a branch in Anchorage Road in Portsmouth, has signed a contract to build three MicroWave Sounder (MWS) instruments for the MetOp Second Generation series of satellites.

The contract for the MWS instruments, worth up to £121m, has been awarded to Airbus in the UK and the satellites will be operated by the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites.

The MWS is the follow-on to the MicroWave Humidity Sounder, also primed from Airbus in Portsmouth and currently flying on the first generation MetOp missions.

The new generation of instruments deliver atmospheric temperature and water vapour information enabling short-term weather forecasts to be made with greater accuracy.

Three MWS instruments will be built with the first satellite due to launch in 2021. The team at Airbus in Portsmouth will develop the MWS instruments together with 20 major sub-contractors across UK and Europe.

UK managing director Colin Paynter said: ‘This contract is great news for the Portsmouth team and builds on our proven expertise in meteorological and space-borne instruments, as well as our world leading innovative technology on satellite payloads.’