French satellite operator boosts UK space sector

Posted on 13 Dec 2018 and read 851 times
French satellite operator boosts UK space sector France-based Eutelsat ( has signed a multi-million-pound deal that will see Airbus assemble parts for new communications satellites in the UK.

The parts for two satellites will be made at Airbus sites in Stevenage and Portsmouth, before final assembly in Toulouse. They include the entire communications payload, platform structure, antennas, propulsion sub-system and various other mechanisms.

Eutelsat is replacing its three existing satellites with two new ones in 2021, and the deal means that six out of the next seven Eutelsat satellites will be partially built in Britain.

Rodolphe Belmer, Eutelsat’s chief executive, said: “We are impressed by the expansion of the UK space sector, particularly its growing industrial capabilities and development of cutting-edge technology.

“We will continue to rely on the UK’s ability to build and deliver world-leading spacecraft.

“I am grateful for the support of the UK Government and the UK Space Agency, both of which recognise the strong commitment Eutelsat has made to the UK over many years.”

Colin Paynter, managing director of Airbus Defence and Space UK, said: “Our telecommunications satellite technology — developed in the UK — has been key to this significant contract win.

"UK Space Agency support for the ESA programme has enabled Airbus in the UK to develop world-leading technology for the world’s leading satellite operators.”

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