Defence and Space has selected Blacktree Technology Pty Ltd of Perth, Australia, to provide the ground segment for the Airbus funded UHF military communications hosted payload on-board a commercial telecommunications satellite manufactured by Airbus.

The payload with 18 UHF channels will enable up to 200 simultaneous communications over Europe, the Middle East, Africa, large parts of Asia, as well as the Atlantic Ocean (to eastern Brazil) and the Indian Ocean (to western Australia).

Airbus Chief Representative, Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific, Stephen Forshaw, said that the selection reinforced Airbus commitment to integrate Australian technology into the wider Airbus supply chain. “We’ve been excited to see how much technology is being developed by local companies to support the development of the Space industry in Australia, and that they are winning selection to provide global solutions in Space,” he said.

Martin Rowse, Airbus Defence and Space Australia director said: “We have selected Blacktree as they offer a proven Australian solution which will support this critical satellite communications capability. The ground segment will be essential in ensuring our customers have access to vital UHF connectivity across the region and beyond.”

Blacktree Technology’s Managing Director, Joe Nevin, said: “ Blacktree Technology is proud to, once again, be selected to support Airbus with UHF ground segment capability. This builds on our strong heritage providing UHF solutions in Australia and across the globe.”

Airbus has been working with Blacktree for more than 15 years under the UK’s SKYNET 5 secure milsatcom programme and is partnering with them in Team Maier, as part of the bid to address Australia’s Joint Project (JP) 9102 to provide a complete Sovereign Defence Satellite Communications System. Team Maier members include technology and encryption specialists Blacktree Technology, Clearbox Systems, Canberra’s Penten, Sydney-based ground-control infrastructure specialist UGL, Surrey Satellite Technology and Indigenous and veteran-owned Willyama.

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