Europe and Japan are developing their respective next generation heavy-lift launchers Ariane 6 and H3 almost simultaneously. Both sides will need to develop enhanced versions to stay competitive. As many development items will be the same, cooperation will be mutually beneficial. The space agencies of both parties are already cooperating on some items of future enhancements. A plan for a balanced mutual backup agreement to reduce delays in launching government satellites was evaluated positively by Japan’s space authorities in the past. Now we need to establish a concrete framework to implement such a backup scheme.


  • Japan and Europe should step up cooperation on the future evolutions of their respective new generation launchers. ArianeGroup and the new structure of Europe’s heavy launcher industry make it easier to realise industry-led cooperation on development.
  • Government satellite programmes increasingly require timely launches. The EBC urges Japan and Europe to bring about an effective, formal back-up cooperation between Japanese and European satellite launchers.