SABCA and ELV have signed a contract for the launcher VEGA

Nov 2011

On June 23, 2011, during the Paris Air Show, SABCA and the Italian company ELV , a subsidiary of AVIO, signed an important contract for the production of the first five shipset of the VEGA space launcher.

This contract follows a phase of development and qualification by SABCA of the Interstage 0/1 Skirt and the Thrust Vectoring Systems for the four stages of the launcher.

This frame contract and the associated technical support will provide work for 40 highly qualified persons during a three year period.

The VEGA launcher has been developed during the last seven years together with the European Space Agency (ESA) that collaborates with the Italian Space Agency (ASI) and the Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES) in France. It will be able to bring a 1,5 ton payload into low earth orbit.

The qualification flight of the launcher will take place end 2011 from the French Guyana Space Center in Kourou, where the launch pad of the old Ariane 1 rocket has been adapted.

The VEGA program, as well as the present contract, is the result of a coherent Belgian space policy in the field of space launchers that originated in 1973 with the start of the Ariane program with ESA.

In this new launcher, SABCA has followed a very innovative approach by developing fully electrical servoactuators based on a SABCA-proprietary microprocessor hardened against space radiations. Operating in vacuum, at very low temperatures and withstanding the heavy shocks generated by the separation of the various stages of the rocket were among the many constraints challenging the SABCA engineers .

The launcher sits on the ground on its lower structure, called Interstage 0/1. For this 3 m diameter structure, SABCA also developped a technological innovation by making it from one part that integrates all necessary functions.

Through the VEGA program, SABCA consolidates its position of European leader for the Thrust Vectoring Systems and actively prepares its contribution to the future evolutions of the Ariane 5 heavy launcher.

SABCA is a leading Belgian Aerospace company since more than 90 years, employing 1000 highly trained persons. SABCA is active in civil aircraft design and manufacture (Airbus, Dassault, Gulfstream), military aircraft overhaul and upgrades (F16, Mirage F1, Alphajet, helicopters, etc…) as well as in space programs (Ariane, Vega). These activities cover structural work as well as thrust vectoring systems and systems integration. SABCA has plants in Brussels and Charleroi, and a fully owned subsidiary SABCA Limburg nv, specialized in aerospace composites.

For more information, write to:

Marketing & Sales Director SABCA

Fax +32 2 729 5896 or

Back to overview