Rocket-maker ArianeGroup to cut 2,300 jobs

November 12, 2018
ArianeGroup said it faced tough competition from US space companies

European aerospace and defence firm ArianeGroup is to cut 2,300 jobs by 2022 as orders tumble and development of a new rocket nears its end, management said Monday.

The said it faced tough competition from US companies whose business is "bolstered by a large volume of institutional orders".

ArianeGroup will make the cuts by not replacing staff who leave or retire.

A joint venture by European aerospace company Airbus and the French group Safran, it currently employs 9,000 people in France and Germany.

Constructor of the Ariane rockets, the European Space Agency workhorse, ArianeGroup also produces ballistic missiles.

Ariane 5 rockets are soon to be replaced by the Ariane 6 which will be an estimated 40 percent cheaper to make, under pressure in particular from Elon Musk's SpaceX.

But European buyers have so far ordered only three Ariane 6 rockets ahead of the first scheduled launch in 2020.

Other nations such as India and the United States give priority to their own space companies and "close their markets to foreign competition", ArianeGroup complained.

ArianeSpace, the company which launches the rockets, recently indicated it was facing "unprecedented competition", notably from SpaceX.

The US firm now places in orbit more rockets that ArianeSpace, responsible for most European launches.

"The Americans—let's not mince our words—have decided to kill off the Europeans," one ArianeGroup trade union recently said in an internal memo, charging that European space companies have only belatedly decided to back Ariane 6.

Explore further: Europe's Ariane 5 rocket set for 100th blast off

Related Stories

Europe's Ariane 5 rocket set for 100th blast off

September 25, 2018

A European-made rocket will blast off Tuesday from French Guiana for the 100th time, in a symbolic landmark for its manufacturer as it comes under increasing pressure from Elon Musk's SpaceX programme.

Europe's Ariane 5 rocket blasts off for 100th time

September 26, 2018

A European-made rocket has blasted off from French Guiana for the 100th time, in a symbolic landmark for its manufacturer as it comes under increasing pressure from Elon Musk's SpaceX programme.

France 'eyes Airbus-Safran tie-up for launch rockets'

June 16, 2014

European aerospace group Airbus and French rocket-maker Safran are looking at jointly making next-generation launch rockets to compete with US firm SpaceX, the French financial newspaper Les Echos said Sunday in a report ...

Recommended for you

Coffee-based colloids for direct solar absorption

March 22, 2019

Solar energy is one of the most promising resources to help reduce fossil fuel consumption and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions to power a sustainable future. Devices presently in use to convert solar energy into thermal ...

EPA adviser is promoting harmful ideas, scientists say

March 22, 2019

The Trump administration's reliance on industry-funded environmental specialists is again coming under fire, this time by researchers who say that Louis Anthony "Tony" Cox Jr., who leads a key Environmental Protection Agency ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

not rated yet Nov 12, 2018
SpaceX may be an "American Company" but Elon Musk was born South African, so I am not sure how this is an 'American' attack on the space industry.

I would say that a Private Company, rather than big, clumsy State works, like NASA or the ESA is going to be more comparable to say JAXA or the Chinese Military Space Programs. They are not saddled by the politics of the moment on each project.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.