François Mousel, partner at PwC, and François Bausch, minister of defence, estimate the cost to operate the military satellite will run to some €138.3 million.
Photo: ministry of defence
Minister of defence, François Bausch on Monday presented the final conclusions on the €180 million budget extension he is asking for to allow Luxembourg’s military satellite, LuxeoSys, to operate.
François Bausch (Déi Gréng), has found himself having to defend spending increases for LuxeoSys military satellite project initiated by his predecessor, Étienne Schneider (LSAP). “I discovered the problem. I alerted parliament and asked PwC for a study,” Bausch said on Monday.
Bausch has been carrying the burden of having to find an extra €180 million to build two antennae and set up infrastructure on the ground capable of managing the system and the transmission of images from the satellite.
For PwC partner, François Mousel, the amount of additional cash required for the project lies between €117.7 and €138.3 million. But, of course, the minister does not want to come back a second time to ask for an additional envelope.
More than half of this--€61.5 to €74.8 million, is intended to finance the data processing centre and its 20 to 25 staff, as well as the “mission operations centre” which will employ some 20 people, which was originally planned for the site of the army headquarters in Diekirch without ever having been budgeted.
OHB International, which has already swallowed up the initial budget of €168 million, will receive between €23.8 and €26.5 million in addition because the project had to be adapted and maintenance costs are now also foreseen.
A further item on the budget, estimated at between €12.5 and €14.6 million, is required for two data centres.
The LuxeoSys will be taking and transmitting some 100 images per day, covering areas of earth that measure 10km by 10km. They will to reach Luxembourg via a specific antenna in Svalbard, Norway, the rent of which will cost €10 million. The Luxembourg satellite will be positioned in low orbit, at around 450 km, and will make 15 orbits of the Earth per day.