UK to fund a satellite system to rival EU's £9bn Galileo project


A rocket with four Galileo satellites onboard was launched in France in July (Source: Getty)

The UK government is set to commence building a satellite system of its own, after being shut out of sensitive security information surrounding the European Union's Galileo project.

The €10bn (£9bn) satellite program has begun proceedings to remove the UK from involvement in the project ahead of Brexit in seven months time. 

Experts have said it is increasingly unlikely the EU will change its mind and allow the UK to stay on board Galileo, or allow it to bid for contracts within the project. 

Chancellor Philip Hammond has reportedly been given the all-clear to allocate £100m from the government's £3bn Brexit fund in order to build a UK rival, according to reports from the Sunday Telegraph. An official announcement is expected to be made later this week.

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The new programme could be more than £6bn cheaper than Galileo, as the UK has built much of the project's infrastructure to date. 

Galileo was commissioned in 2003, and is due to be completed in 2020. 

Should it continue to be shut out from the project, the UK could demand a repayment of £1bn for the work it has already carried out on Galileo.