Airbus has added Canberra-based satellite ground control segment expert Clearbox Systems as its second partner in its teaming arrangement as part of its bid to deliver next-generation military satellite communications (satcom) capability to Australia under the JP9102 programme.
Designated Team Maier, the teaming arrangement is designed not only to deliver a sovereign military satcom solution for Australia, but to grow the defence and space eco-system for the long-term. Through this a unique approach, Airbus will bring on board partners across space, technology and academia, enabling further innovative solutions and niche capabilities to the Commonwealth.
Team Maier will benefit from Clearbox’s experience in supporting Australian Defence Force’s control segment for its current military wideband satcom, commercial wideband satcom, and military narrowband satcom systems. An integral component of the satcom system, the control segment manages a network of devices, sensors, signals and payloads to ensure successful transmission. Clearbox will be upgrading the current systems to the JP9102 requirements, including ongoing sustainment.
Jeremy Hallett, CEO of Clearbox Systems, said “Our world-leading, Australian-developed satcom control segment technology helps the Australian Defence operate a flexible, resilient and agile satcom service for the warfighter. We are excited to be a part of Team Maier and to apply our technology to the new capabilities Airbus will bring to Defence under JP9102.
Martin Rowse, Airbus Campaign Lead for the JP9102 programme, said: “Clearbox brings a wealth of experience and expertise to Team Maier. We are confident that this collaborative approach will be mutually beneficial; supporting Clearbox’s growth while building a true partnership to deliver the best solution possible to Australia. We are committed to reinforcing our long-standing commitment to the Commonwealth of Australia, and Clearbox joining Team Maier is a key part of our strategy to enable the Australian Defence Force to achieve its strategic objectives of Shape, Deter, and Respond across the Indo-Pacific region now and into the future,” he said.
Airbus has been responsible for delivering all secure beyond line of sight communications to the UK MOD for 18 years, owning and operating the Skynet military communications satellite fleet. During that time Skynet 5 satellites have been crucial to keeping armed forces in theatre in touch with each other and bases back in the UK. The satellites also provide a key part of service personnel being able to keep in touch with loved ones back home as part of the WelComE welfare communications service.