EXCLUSIVE – The two satellites ordered by Eutelsat are destined to replace, starting from 2022, the three HotBird satellites that form a reference broadcasting center in the world.
In a market of small satellites for telecommunications, Airbus records its first order of the year. According to our information, Airbus Defense & Space (DS), a subsidiary of the European aerospace giant, was chosen by the French operator Eutelsat to supply it with two television satellites. This order represents the first commercial success for the new line of large Airbus DS telecommunications satellites developed on the Eurostar Neo platform. These 4.5-ton satellites benefit from a new design, new production methods (in particular 3D printing) and a faster production cycle.
The two satellites ordered by Eutelsat are destined to replace, starting from 2022, the three HotBird satellites, which form a reference television transmission hub in the world, with over a thousand channels distributed to about 135 million customers worldwide . Europe, Middle East and North Africa. The contract value is around 500 million euros.
The order must be signed this Monday, November 18, in London, Ministry of Economics, Energy and Industrial Strategy, in the presence of Rodolphe Belmer, CEO of Eutelsat, and Nicolas Chamussy, director of "Space Systems" " , The Airbus DS Space Branch At the start of a crucial week for Theresa May's government in the midst of the Brexit crisis, Airbus and Eutelsat send a message of confidence to Britain, a key partner in the European space industry: The UK Space Agency has in fact participated in the financing of the Eurostar Neo platform, together with its French counterpart, Cnes, and the European Space Agency (ESA).
The satellites, assembled and tested in Toulouse, include "made in the UK" equipment, where Space Systems employs 3,000 people. The Portsmouth plant provides the payload for the mission and the Stevenage site, the service and the propulsion module.