Airbus wins satcoms contract for the Czech Republic and the Netherlands

Airbus has signed contracts with the Ministries of Defense of the Czech Republic and the Netherlands to provide satellite communications for a period of 15 years. The armed forces of the Czech Republic and the Netherlands will use two and three channels respectively of the payload hosted by Airbus military UHF (ultra high frequency) communications on board the EUTELSAT 36D telecommunications satellite scheduled for launch in 2024.

With this new UHF payload, Airbus will be able to offer a new UHF communication service to the armed forces, in particular those of European countries and NATO allies. The UHF frequency band being a relatively scarce orbital resource, this offer will compensate for the lack of capacity in the world. Airbus has already signed several firm orders for this capability, well ahead of the satellite’s planned launch.

The UHF payload will be operated from the Airbus Network Operations Center in Toulouse. Its 18 UHF channels will allow up to 200 simultaneous communications over Europe, the Middle East, Africa, much of Asia, as well as the Atlantic Ocean (towards the east of Brazil) and the Indian Ocean (west of Australia).

UHF military satcoms are used by the armed forces for operations on land, at sea and in the air. They have a high level of interoperability and are therefore very useful for multinational and coalition operations. The UHF band is very flexible and offers a light, robust and highly secure means of communication. A wide range of terminals usable on land, at sea and in the air is available to meet the needs of different armed forces.

Airbus has unique experience in operating milsatcom UHF services. This new payload will enrich its portfolio throughout the lifetime of the satellite. Airbus is the only private armed forces satcom operator to cover all military (UHF, X, Ka Mil) and commercial (L, C/Ku, Ka) frequency bands and applications.

The EUTELSAT 36D satellite will be built by Airbus on the basis of its Eurostar Neo platform. In addition to the UHF payload, it will also be equipped with 70 Ku-band transponders for TV broadcasting.

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