Airbus Defence and Space

2009: A great year for Airbus Defence and Space

2009 results and outlook for 2010

Airbus Defence and Space offers innovation and experience in protecting the Planet


  • New orders totalling more than €8 billion
  • 11% increase in sales to over €4.8 billion
  • Airbus Defence and Space is developing new space based technologies for the environment

Paris, 19 January 2010 Airbus Defence and Space CEO François Auque presented the company's results for 2009 and its prospects for the coming year at the annual New Year’s press conference.  In 2009 Airbus Defence and Space successfully delivered seven Ariane 5 launchers, which placed a total of 14 satellites in orbit and signed a contract worth more than €4 billion for a further 35 Ariane 5 launch vehicles. Launch highlights included the Herschel Space Observatory, the largest ever space telescope, the Hot Bird 10 broadcast satellite and the Amazonas 2 telecommunications satellite.


In the defence sector, Airbus Defence and Space successfully tested the M51 ballistic missile and placed both the Spirale demonstrator and the Helios 2B military surveillance satellite in orbit for France.  The COMSATBw-1 military communication satellite was also placed in orbit for Germany. The year was marked by an impressive number of successful in orbit deliveries  (6 satellites).


"2009 was a record year for telecommunications satellites, with seven new orders representing one quarter of the worldwide market. This was largely due to the contract for four satellites worth more than €500 million that was signed with SES Astra at the end of November. Another major success has been the great show of confidence in our Services activities by distinguished agencies.  Airbus Defence and Space has signed contracts in the United States with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) and in Europe with the European Defence Agency (EDA)", said François Auque at the press conference.


In 2010, Airbus Defence and Space will continue in its efforts to match its impressive achievements of 2009 and deliver six Ariane 5 launch vehicles on schedule.  The company has also already begun development work on the Ariane 5 Midlife Evolution (ME) after signing a two-year, €150 million contract with the European Space Agency (ESA). "Ariane 5 ME will have an increased payload capacity, and with the upcoming Ariane 6, we will be poised to implement any future European projects in this sphere," said François Auque.


2010 will also be a busy year for the export of observation satellites, with deliveries to Algeria, Chile, and South Korea.  The COMS satellite to be delivered to South Korea will be the first next-generation meteorology satellite. Telecommunications satellite activity will likewise be intense, with work continuing on Astra 3B, COMSATBw-2, Arabsat 5A & 5B, HYLAS and KA-SAT, Europe's first multi-beam satellite operating exclusively in the Ka-band and dedicated to providing broadband internet services.


Airbus Defence and Space innovates for Planet Earth


Supplying solar energy from space is now possible


Airbus Defence and Space has invested its own capital to successfully develop new technologies for transferring solar energy to Earth. The company's highly-skilled teams are now capable of manufacturing large satellites that can collect solar energy and redirect it towards the ground using laser beams and special mirrors. Governments are now actively encouraging the development of clean, inexhaustible energy sources, and European industry has concrete solutions to offer.


Space technology to monitor deforestation


"Satellites allow us to perform a global check-up of our planet's health. Five satellites built by Airbus Defence and Space and dedicated to the environment will be placed in orbit this year. The technology that we are currently developing represents a major advance and we can now offer governments concrete solutions such as fighting against deforestation or developing high-precision agricultural practices," explained Mr. Auque.


Through its subsidiary Spot Infoterra, Airbus Defence and Space can accurately measure the current evolution of deforestation and forest degradation—together with the resulting carbon emissions—over major forest regions. Working together with the Brazilian NGO IMAZON, Airbus Defence and Space has already analysed the Mato Grosso forest in the Amazon and developed a new tool that was tested and approved at the Copenhagen Climate Conference. It is now being used in REDD projects (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation). The goal is to develop the emissions trading market so that countries with forested areas can realise the value of their forests and better protect them.


A contract was also signed in Copenhagen in December 2009 with the French Development Agency (AFD), which will be providing support for these technologies to monitor forests in the Congo Basin.


Airbus Defence and Space, a wholly owned subsidiary of AIRBUS Group, is dedicated to providing civil and defence space systems and services. In 2008, Airbus Defence and Space had a turnover of €4.3 billion and more than 15,000 employees in France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain and the Netherlands. Its three main areas of activity are Airbus Defence and Space for launchers and orbital infrastructure, Airbus Defence and Space for spacecraft and ground segment and Airbus Defence and Space for the development and delivery of satellite services.


AIRBUS Group is a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services. In 2008, AIRBUS Group generated revenues of €43.3 billion and employed a workforce of more than 118, 000.


Press contacts:

Daniel Mosely (Airbus Defence and Space UK)                                                      Tel.: +44 (0)1 438 77 8180

Matthieu Duvelleroy (Airbus Defence and Space FR)                                              Tel.: +33 (0) 1 77 75 80 32

Ralph Heinrich (Airbus Defence and Space GER)                                                   Tel.: +49 (0) 89 607 33971

Francisco Lechón (Airbus Defence and Space SP)                                                 Tel.: +34 91 586 37 41

Airbus Defence and SpaceEnvironment François Auque