Alphabus is the industrial programme for the development of a generic line of large platforms. Alcatel Space and EADS Astrium are cooperating to develop and market Alphabus with the objective to compete successfully on the global commercial satcom market. The objective of the phase C/D programme is to establish the Alphabus product line and to procure its first flight model.
The Alcatel/Astrium Alphabus Joined Project Team (JPT) will issue as of April 2004 a number of equipment Invitations to Tender (ITTs) to select equipment providers for the build-up of the industrial consortium for the phase C/D programme. This information is addressed to equipment suppliers interested in bidding in the frame of the Alphabus phase C/D programme.
The development of a new European multipurpose platform for large telecommunication payloads is a priority for European Industry to strengthen Europe's competitive position on the world market. ESA and CNES have initiated a cooperation agreement in support of European industry to develop the product line for a new generation of commercial platforms called Alphabus. This initiative will provide European industry access to the large, high power market segment complementing the existing European commercial product lines already successfully competing in the low and medium power range. The Alphabus programme covers the development and procurement of a generic multi-mission platform and does not encompass a satellite development. Alphabus is a stand-alone programme carried-out under the umbrella of the ARTES-8 programme declaration. It covers the Agency's efforts for the development and qualification of the Alphabus product line in co-operation with CNES as well as the subsequent procurement by ESA of the first flight model of an Alphabus platform. The development plan associated is coherent with the aspirations of EADS Astrium and Alcatel Space to enter commercial satellite bids based on the Alphabus platform from 2006 onwards anticipating a first commercial launch by 2009. The phase C/D contract is anticipated to be placed by ESA and CNES to the Alphabus prime contractors, Alcatel Space / EADS Astrium, towards the end of 2004.
Scope of phase C/D selection
As part of the current phase B activities the prime contractors will select equipment providers for the build-up of the industrial consortium for the Alphabus Phase C/D. A number of equipment ITTs will be issued as of April 2004 by the Alcatel/Astrium Alphabus Joined Project Team (JPT). This will be the basis for the Alphabus Phase C/D proposal, which is expected by September 2004 in response the ESA/CNES RFQ. For each equipment earmarked for open competition the ITTs will request:
1. The phase C equipment development and qualification
2. The Proto Flight Model (PFM) equipment procurement
3. A long term agreement (LTA) covering the relationship between prime contractor and supplier for the subsequent production of Alphabus based satellites
1. The development and qualification of the Alphabus generic product line, including all equipments, shall be 50 % co-funded by the industry. In addition to Industrial-Self-Funding (ISF) the industrial funding may include an element of limited industrial In-Kind- Contribution (IKC). The industrial proposal shall provide the complete cost of the Phase C/D development covering detailed cost elements related to institutional funding, industrial self-funding and industrial in-kind-contributions if applicable.
2. The procurement of the Alphabus proto-flight model equipments will be fully funded by ESA.
Bidders shall provide a letter from their country's delegation confirming the corresponding funding through the country's subscription to the ARTES 8 programme in case of a successful bid. Current ARTES 8 participating countries are: Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland.
Selection process: The bids will be evaluated under the supervision of ESA by an evaluation team consisting of members of ESA, the Alcatel Space / EADS Astrium prime contractors with CNES as observer. The evaluation process will guarantee fair treatment of all bidders taking into account both the Agency's programmatic objectives and the needs resulting from the very commercial nature of this industry-led initiative.
The announcement of individual ITTs will be disseminated through EMITS and, in some cases, to a restricted list of potential bidders not belonging to an ESA Member State or Associated State. The actual ITT package will be sent by the Alcatel Space / EADS Astrium Joint Alphabus Project Team in accordance with the responses received.