Airbus Defence and Space delivers satellite communications systems for EU military training missions in Somalia (EUTM Somalia) as well as for the EUCAP (European Union capacity-building mission) Sahel Niger and EUCAP Sahel Mali civilian missions.
Led on behalf of the European Union, these missions aim to support the efforts of the respective governments to strengthen their stability and to respond to the security issues faced by their populations. Airbus Defence and Space teams have deployed C-band SATCOM systems between Europe and Somalia, Niger and Mali, as well as satellite-based mobile phone terminals to enable communications in Malian and Nigerien territories. Airbus Defence and Space supplies the ground equipment, communications services and airtime.
Airbus Defence and Space has been providing SATCOM services for the European Defence Agency (EDA) since 2012. Recently, the organization 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 SATCOM services.
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 ministries of defence 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. Satellite communications are a mission-critical instrument for connecting command and control centers, as well as intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) tools. In light of the increasingly common use of high-throughput applications, like RPAS on battlefields, a great amount of SATCOM is needed to enable the control and transmission of data acquired by sensors.
Military and governmental users worldwide benefit from the unique expertise developed by Airbus Defence and Space in the field of satellite communications. Besides covering the complete range of frequency bands (L-, C-, Ku-, Ka-, X- and UHF), the company provides military satellite communications to some of the most high-tech armed forces in the world, including those of the UK, France, Germany, Canada, the US and NATO.
Roland Van Reybroeck, Director Cooperation Planning & Support at European Defence Agency, related that 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.