The Space Alliance has unveiled plans to boost the UK’s £16.5 billion space sector with the full backing of defence and security giants Leonardo and Thales, both of which have major UK-based operations.

The Space Alliance is a global partnership between Leonardo and Thales which brings together leading space technology companies Telespazio (a joint venture between Leonardo, 67 per cent, and Thales, 33 per cent) and Thales Alenia Space (a joint venture between Thales, 67 per cent, and Leonardo, 33 per cent).

In response to the publication of the UK’s National Space Strategy and Defence Space Strategy, the Space Alliance is moving to invest in and focus on growth in the UK, backed by parent companies Leonardo and Thales.

New skills and knowledge

In addition to bringing its existing onshore capabilities to bear in support of the National Space Strategy and Defence Space Strategy, the Alliance also plans to develop new skills and knowledge in the UK, drawing on its 60 years of involvement in major European space programmes. These have included the delivery of Galileo navigation services, military satellite communications programmes and the production and operation of the Copernicus Earth observation satellites.

Ian Annett, Deputy CEO of the UK Space Agency, said: “The UK has a thriving space sector, employing 47,000 people and generating an annual income of £16.5 billion. We are committed to growing this further by capitalising on the UK’s strengths, such as our leading small satellite industry, becoming the first country in Europe to offer launch capabilities and leading the way in space sustainability.

“We continue to work closely with partners from industry, with academia and across government to catalyse further investment, deliver new missions and capabilities, and champion space for the good of humanity. The Space Alliance will benefit from Thales and Leonardo’s strong track records of investing in the UK and renowned expertise, providing a further boost to the UK’s national space ambitions.”

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