Airbus Secures Sole Ownership of Satellite Venture, Boosts Florida's Space Coast Presence
Airbus U.S. Space & Defense, Inc., a significant player in the aerospace industry, recently announced its acquisition of Eutelsat OneWeb's 50% stake in the Airbus OneWeb Satellites (AOS) joint venture. This move positions Airbus as the sole proprietor of AOS and its Merritt Island satellite manufacturing facility in Florida.
The transaction is a strategic move by Airbus to enhance its capabilities in the small satellite constellation market. The newly streamlined ownership structure is anticipated to deliver increased efficiency and competitive advantage for a diverse range of space customers, including commercial entities, institutional clients, and national security interests.
Underpinning this commitment is the recent retooling of the Merritt Island factory to accommodate the Arrow450 production line, coupled with an ongoing expansion project. This initiative aims to meet the growing demand for small satellites from both commercial and government customers, thereby deepening Airbus' footprint in the region.
The Airbus OneWeb Satellites joint venture, established in 2016, has achieved notable success, having constructed over 600 satellites for the OneWeb first-generation constellation at an impressive rate of two satellites per day. These satellites are currently operational in orbit, marking a significant milestone in the venture's history.
This acquisition by Airbus not only reinforces its leadership in the aerospace sector but also signifies a major boost for Florida's Space Coast. As the demand for small satellites continues to rise, Airbus' expanded presence and capabilities in Florida are poised to play a pivotal role in shaping the future of space exploration and satellite technology.