Paris: India's ISRO and France's Astrium have signed a long term agreement for the utilisation of the Indian Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) for launching satellites.
The agreement was signed ahead of talks between Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and French President Nicholas Sarkozy at Paris.
Dr G Madhavan Nair, chairman of Antrix Corporation, which is ISRO's commercial arm, and French space organisation Astrium's CEO François Auque signed the pact. Both companies already have collaborations in place in their space activities.
They signed two major telecommunication satellite contracts, W2M for Eutelsat and HYLAS for Avanti Systems, marking a major step forward for both European and Indian space organisation.
Astrium is a wholly owned subsidiary of EADS. The agreement with ISRO will allow Astrium to offer attractive solutions across international markets for in-orbit delivery of its earth observation satellites, using the PSLV launch services of Antrix, ISRO's commercial arm.
In addition to the space agreements, other agreements on civil nuclear cooperation and social security were also signed during the summit level talks between Prime Minister Singh and President Sarkozy. The agreement on nuclear cooperation would be the first pact inked after the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) granted a waiver to India.
As part of the social security agreement, Indian workers would now be entitled to export of social security benefits if they relocate to India after completing their service in France.