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Airbus SATCOM for EU Missions in Africa

Key Enabler for Security Missions in Mali, Niger and Somalia

Airbus Defence & Space (DS) has delivered satellite communications (SATCOM) capabilities to support the EU Military Training Mission in Somalia (EUTM Somalia) and the EU Capacity-Building Missions (EUCAP) in Mali and Niger. The missions support the effort of the respective governments to strengthen their stability and to respond to the security issues confronting their populations.

Supplying ground equipment, communications services and airtime, Airbus teams have deployed C-band satcom systems between Europe and all three nations and satellite-based mobile phone terminals to enable communications in Mali and Niger.

Airbus DS has been providing satcom services for the European Defence Agency (EDA) since 2012. Recently, the organisation renewed its framework contract for the provision of satcom for another four years in order to meet the military and civilian requirements of the European missions. This new EU SATCOM Market contract now encompasses X-band and UHF-band military satcom services, in addition to commercial C-, Ku-, Ka- and L-band services.

As the pioneer of satcom services for governments and ministries of defence, we are very proud to keep supporting the EDA and, more broadly, European defence and its actions around the world,” said Bruno Capitant, Head of EMEA & International agencies at the Secure Communications business cluster, Airbus DS.

The EU SATCOM Market agreement allows EU member states to consolidate their requirements and purchase satellite communication capabilities in a coordinated manner, thus ensuring more economical and reliable access to satcom services. Around twenty MoDs in Europe and EU organisations are taking part in this project, which allows them to equip themselves with satcom solutions and services across the globe.

The EU SATCOM Market project has successfully developed since 2009 as a solution for interested Members States and EU entities to access better quality satellite communications services, under better economic conditions, with less burden. It is a perfect example of how EDA can combine its industry knowledge, technical expertise and experience in procurement to support EU operations/missions and Member States in their procurement procedures and save scarce resources at no additional cost,” said Roland Van Reybroeck, Director Cooperation Planning & Support at EDA.

SATCOM is a mission-critical instrument for connecting C2 centres and ISR tools. In light of the increasingly common use of high-throughput applications, such as UAVs, a great amount of satcom is needed to enable the control and transmission of data acquired by sensors.

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