AFP, BRUSSELS: The European Commission said Friday that three groups have been shortlisted as possible operators of the Galileo Programme, the European Union's proposed satellite navigation system.
Consortiums led by Eutelsat, Inmarsat/EADS/Thales and Alcatel Space/Vinci will go into a final process of competitive negotiation to win the contract, said the commission, the EU's executive arm.
“The preselection results are very encouraging. They endorse the European institutions' approach: the private sector is willing to invest heavily in the Galileo programme,” said transport commissioner Loyola de Palacio.
“The quality of the three tenders selected augurs well for the competitive negotiation phase,” she added.
The controversial Galileo Programme has been criticised by the United States, which feared it would interfere with the US military's use of its Global Positioning System (GPS).