Space News (7/1, de Selding) reported, "The European Commission on July 1 issued a request for industry to bid on the Galileo satellite navigation system, confirming that non-European Union subcontractors will be barred from bidding except in 'exceptional circumstances.'" Companies have until August 7 to indicate their interest, with final contracts awarded in June 2009. "The commission made clear that it is managing Galileo under commission rules of value for money...But prime contracts for five of the six main work packages will be limited to companies established in the 27-nation European Union." The sixth package deals with the rockets to launch the Galileo satellites, and according to the request this could be done from a site not in the EU. Otherwise, Galileo contractors "will be limited 'to natural or legal persons established in one of the member states of the European Union,'" according to the commission.
AFP (7/1) noted, "Galileo's €3.4-billion ($5.4-billion) budget has been divided into six segments with contracts for satellites, launchers, computer programs, ground stations, control stations and the system's operation." The decision on the contracts "will be decided by the commission and the European Space Agency."
The BBC (7/1) added, "The commission's partner, the European Space Agency, will run the procurement contest with the aim of Galileo being fully operational by 2013." According to the article, "Some €3 billion have been set aside by finance ministers for Galileo through to 2013, although a spokesman...said that the procurement process...should cost no more than €2.1 billion." The work packages have "strict rules governing how much work can go to each company and how much of that work must then be sub-contracted to partners," and the BBC adds, "Some of the big aerospace and telecom concerns in Europe and the U.S. are sure to participate."