Airbus Wins $2.5 Billion Contract for German Military Satellites

Credit: Airbus

Defense and Space has secured a $2.5 billion contract from the German military to develop and deliver next-generation communications satellites, known as SATCOMBw 3, aimed at bolstering the Bundeswehr’s communications system.

Announced on July 4, the deal encompasses the development and deployment of two geostationary satellites, along with upgrades to the ground segment, launch services, and 15 years of operational support. These satellites are scheduled to replace the aging SATCOMBw 2 system, originally delivered by Airbus 15 years ago, and are expected to be operational before the end of the decade.

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According to Airbus, SATCOMBw 3 represents a significant advancement in military satellite technology, promising increased bandwidth, enhanced security features, and improved resilience against disruptions. The 6,000-kilogram satellites will be based on Airbus’s Eurostar Neo platform.

Michael Schoellhorn, CEO of Airbus Defense and Space, emphasized the strategic importance of the project: “At a time when Western democracies are challenged and where the European institutional space ecosystem is struggling, we are excited and grateful to develop and build this leading-edge system.”

Airbus has enlisted several German suppliers, including OHB and other local companies, to contribute to the SATCOMBw 3 program. Critical components such as payload guidance, solar arrays, and spacecraft operation will be sourced domestically, reinforcing ‘s involvement in the European space sector.

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