Airbus Safran Launchers (ASL) and its industrial partners have announced a major milestone in the development of Ariane 6, under contract with the European Space Agency (ESA). The review confirmed that the maturity of the industrialization of Ariane 6 is sufficient to begin production of the ground qualification models for the future European launcher, in accordance with programme objectives.
Ariane 6 is being developed using validation milestones called “Maturity Gates”. The latest step, designated Maturity Gate 6.1, follows on from Maturity Gate 5 which marked the validation of the technical, industrial and scheduling aspects of the future European launcher programme in 2016.
Ariane 6 development, in what ASL calls the “Ariane 6 Way”, comprises 15 major steps, six of which have already been completed. Maturity Gate 11 will give the green light for the first flight of Ariane 6, while Maturity Gate 15 will mark the end of development and the start of full operational capacity.
Each Maturity Gate takes place under the responsibility of ASL, and involves independent experts. Maturity Gate 6.2 is slated to take place at the end of 2017, clearing the way for production of the first Ariane 6 flight models.