Airbus will offer new Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite communication services to select European and UK armed forces from the end of this year, using OneWeb'‘s constellation.
Evert Dudok, executive vice president of Connected Intelligence at Airbus Defence and Space said the OneWeb LEO constellation can offer military customers real flexibility as it looks to deliver the future integrated mesh networks, combat cloud and information superiority that demand these new and innovative approaches. “With this new offering based on the OneWeb constellation and Airbus technology, we will be the very first provider to offer this type of service to European forces,” he said.
Airbus says the new satellite communication services will provide armed forces with high-speed, all-IP (Internet Protocol) communications, making it possible to prioritise communication flows and ensure a high level of availability.
The partnership will offer services to connect vehicles on the ground, battleships at sea and aircrafts in flight to support future multi-domain cloud applications and enable information superiority.
LEO constellations make it possible to offer real-time space communications, which are useful for transmitting live video streams from sensors such as those used on UAVs.
Users can complement existing services and networks with the ability to switch between LEO and GEO (Geostationary orbit) satellite communications throughout operations to derive the benefits of a flexible and interoperable network.
Neil Masterson, OneWeb’s CEO said its network will enable secure, resilient, real-time communications for military and civilian government organisations, starting in the Arctic and expanding to global mobility use cases.
The Airbus designed OneWeb satellites are currently being produced at the Airbus OneWeb Satellites facility in Florida. After an initial start of service over the Arctic area from the North Pole to the 50th parallel, OneWeb expects its services to be available with global coverage of the Earth by the end of 2022, with a constellation of 648 satellites in LEO.