The global aerospace company has announced plans to partner with key enablers in the Australian space and technology industries, as part of its work to build a complete defence satellite communications system.
Airbus has formed ‘Team Maier’ — a co-operative made up of Australian defence and aerospace companies and academia, set up to develop a solution for Joint Project (JP) 9102.
The project aims to strengthen sovereign industrial space and defence capability by establishing a complete Defence Satellite Communications System for Australia and the Asia-Pacific region.
According to Airbus, Team Maier would produce workshare and export opportunities for Australian SMEs, create jobs, and foster technology transfer and innovation.
As part of its work to form Team Maier, Airbus has issued a call to local industry through its supplier database ICN Gateway, which details the range of key technologies, specialist skills and manufacturing capabilities that it’s looking to source from Australia.
“We have always recognised the expertise and capabilities that Australian companies and academia can bring to our business, and how important synergies can be achieved,” Andrew Mathewson, Airbus head of country, Australia and New Zealand, said.
“Reinforcing our long-standing commitment to the Commonwealth of Australia, our new Team Maier brings in partners to enable the Australian Defence Force to achieve its strategic objectives of Shape, Deter, and Respond across the Indo-Pacific region.
“Airbus has injected more than $950 million of activities into the Australian aerospace industry over the last three years, for civil and military fixed-wing and rotary wing aircraft, generating economic benefits of over $1.7 billion for Australia.”
He added, “We are now looking to build on that with space.”
Airbus has owned and operated the UK Skynet military satellite communications system for more than 15 years on behalf of the UK Ministry of Defence, under a multibillion-dollar contract.
As part of the Skynet program, Airbus provides a range of space-based services to export customers worldwide including Australia, the US and other NATO Allies.
In 2016, Airbus invested in a new purpose-built satellite ground station in Adelaide, to land Skynet secure military satellite communications, which extended its existing chain of teleports in France, Germany, Norway, the UK and the US, providing global coverage in both fixed and mobile satellite services.
[Related: Satellite Ground Station goes live]