Airbus has announced it will establish a major satellite manufacturing facility at the upcoming Australian Space Park in Adelaide.
The investment, supported by the state government, will allow satellites of up to 300 kilograms to be produced, and with a level of technological sophistication currently not possible in Australia.
The aerospace giant will join companies including Fleet Space and Alauda Aeronautics at the $66 million, Silicon Valley-style hub, first announced in December last year.
SA Premier Peter Malinauskas called Airbus’ announcement a “significant coup” for his state.
“Airbus’ involvement in the Australian Space Park will open a pipeline of opportunities for local manufacturers,” he said.
“The space industry offers huge potential for South Australia, as we attract more and more companies to our state, we will continue to be at the forefront of supporting sovereign space capability, which will enable the development, integration, assembly and testing of space hardware.”
Airbus Defence and Space’s commitment marks what it calls the first direct collaborative investment in the Australian space industry by a prime space industry contractor. Airbus is also the designated prime contractor for the European Space Agency’s Mars Sample Return mission.
South Australia’s Minister for Trade and Investment, Nick Champion, said, “Having this company based here, assembling satellites of this size, will be a huge step in terms of scale and sophistication of satellites being assembled in Australia.”
First announced in December 2021, the Australian Space Park will be located at Adelaide Airport due to its close proximity to key aerospace companies, and Lot Fourteen where the Australian Space Agency resides.
The “purpose-built facility” will boost manufacturing capabilities with a focus on small satellites and their payloads, alongside rockets and electric vertical take-off and landing vehicles (eVTOL).
Subscribe to the Defence Connect daily newsletter.
Be the first to hear the latest developments in the defence industry.
It’s hoped the development will make SA the largest satellite manufacturer in the country and create more than 1,200 direct and indirect jobs.