Airbus to Provide 42 Satellite Platforms and Services to Northrop Grumman


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Airbus U.S. Space & Defense, Inc., has been contracted to provide 42 satellite platforms as well as assembly, integration, and test (AIT), launch, and space vehicle commissioning support services to Northrop Grumman to satisfy the U.S. Space Development Agency’s (SDA) Tranche 1 Transport Layer prototype constellation (T1TL) award.

The Transport Layer will serve as the backbone for SDA’s National Defense Space Architecture by providing assured, resilient, low-latency military data and connectivity worldwide to a full range of defense applications. Supporting this vital effort underscores Airbus U.S.’s commitment to the continued expansion of its Florida facility and investment in the Space Coast in support of US Government and commercial space missions.

Derived from the flight-proven ARROW platform, the Airbus U.S. solution expands on its commoditized satellite bus design providing more power and a larger payload accommodation. This modular solution offers a scalable 300-500 kg bus for the Northrop Grumman payload and future U.S. Government missions. 

“The SDA Tranche 1 Transport Layer is a critical national security program, and we are honored to support Northrop Grumman and the Space Development Agency,” said Rob Geckle, President and CEO of Airbus U.S. Space and Defense. “This award underscores Airbus U.S.’s mission to develop and deliver, in the U.S., technology critical to the U.S. warfighter,” he added.

Airbus U.S. has designed a highly adaptable spacecraft platform and will utilize Airbus OneWeb Satellites (AOS), the Airbus U.S. and OneWeb joint venture in Merritt Island, FL, to assemble it using their state-of-the-art production line. This line is currently delivering up to two satellites per day to OneWeb. AOS achieves this industry-leading result through its mature supply chain and manufacturing approach. To date, this facility has already produced over 400 of the 648 satellites on order for OneWeb.

Headquartered in Arlington, VA and operating under a Special Security Agreement (SSA), Airbus U.S. Space & Defense, Inc. offers advanced solutions to meet the most complex U.S. defense, security, space, and intelligence requirements. A long time U.S. government partner, Airbus U.S. leverages world-class satellite, laser communication, rotary and fixed wing solutions to help its National Security focused customers meet their missions.

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