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Airbus and OneWeb Expand Government Satcom Services

Constellation to Total 648 Satellites

Airbus and OneWeb have signed a distribution partner agreement to provide Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite communication services for military and governmental use, the companies announced on 14 December. As the leading provider of military satellite communication services in Europe, Airbus will offer new communication services, using the OneWeb constellation, to select European armed forces, and security forces, from the end of this year.

As Europe’s leading government and defence secure communication provider, we continually look to extend and augment the services we offer. With the OneWeb LEO constellation, we can offer military customers real flexibility as we look to deliver the future integrated mesh networks, combat cloud and information superiority that demand these new and innovative approaches. With this new offering based on the OneWeb constellation and Airbus technology, we will be the very first provider to offer this type of service to European forces,” explained Evert Dudok, EVP of Connected Intelligence at Airbus Defence and Space.

Neil Masterson, OneWeb CEO, added: “Our network will enable secure, resilient, real-time communications for military and civilian government organisations, starting in the Arctic and expanding to global mobility use cases.

The two companies plan to develop a complete range of secure services, dedicated to the specific needs of armed forces, for all their operations on land, at sea, and in the air. The partnership will offer services to connect vehicles on the ground, battleship at sea and aircrafts in flight. Thanks to these features, this connectivity service is fully designed to support future multi-domain cloud applications and enable information superiority.

LEO constellations enable the development of a new generation of terminals and antennas of reduced size, weight and power consumption. These constellations will also make it possible to offer real-time space communications, very useful for transmitting live video streams from sensors such as those embarked on UAS. These new satellite communication services will provide armed forces with high-speed, all-IP communications, making it possible to prioritise communication flows and ensure a very high level of availability. Users can complement existing services and networks with the ability to switch between LEO and GEO [Geostationary orbit] satcoms throughout operations. to derive the benefits of a flexible and interoperable network.


Following an start of service over the Arctic area, from the North Pole to the 50th parallel, OneWeb expects its services to be available with global coverage by the end of 2022, with a constellation of 648 Airbus-designed satellites in LEO. (Image: Airbus)

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