Airbus Defence and Space

Security & Defence Press releases

Airbus Defence and Space and Avanti Communications launch military and government Ka-band test-bed

  • Unique agreement with Avanti Communications to use Hylas 1 satellite

  • Customer accessible test-bed supporting experimentation and development of end to end communications capabilities in Ka-Band


Paris 8 September 2010 - Airbus Defence and Space is launching its military and government advanced Ka-band test-bed in cooperation with Avanti Communications who will be providing the satellite bandwidth. Airbus Defence and Space has entered into a pioneering agreement with Avanti Communications to use transponder capacity for Ka-band tests on the soon to be launched Hylas 1 satellite.


The technology test-bed comprises a dedicated secure laboratory facility equipped with RF, modem and encryption and routing equipment which will enable government and military customers to work in close collaboration with Airbus Defence and Space’ engineers in testing and refining future Military Ka-band system requirements. System tests on the satellite will cover military use of Ka-band including tactical and comms on the move (CoTM) terminals in field locations. It will be based in Stevenage in UK and use proven in-house system and terminal capabilities supplied by Airbus Defence and Space Secure Satcom Systems


Airbus Defence and Space CEO Eric Beranger said: “As the world’s first provider of military grade secure satellite communications to government customers we are continually looking at how to improve our services and solutions. Our goal with the technology test-bed and the capacity lease on Hylas 1 is to test and validate potential future service opportunities to give our existing and future customers an edge over the competition.


“Military Ka-band capability will play a very strong role in future Con Ops, particularly for very high data rate services to and from disadvantaged terminals in theatre. One area we are looking at is multiple Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) streaming real time surveillance data to support military or governmental operations across areas of military or political interest. Current satellite systems simply do not have the available bandwidth to support such operations.”


Airbus Defence and Space’ subsidiary Paradigm owns six military grade satellites with a seventh in construction and a network of dedicated anchor sites which are operated from highly secure facilities in the UK. Paradigm provides secure communication links to naval, airborne and land based forces from the British Ministry of Defence to the US DoD and many other International Armed Forces and Government Agencies.  Developing Ka-band services is key to meeting future military and government requirements which also include further services for UAS.


Malcolm Peto, CEO of Telecom Services division within Airbus Defence and Space Services said: “Working closely with our military customers on a day-to-day basis is a fundamental part of our business.  On Skynet-5 we established a partnership approach where we meet with the UK MoD and our industrial suppliers on a regular basis to work through requirements and programme matters to ensure we continue to deliver the highest quality of service at the best price.  Our approach to the analysis of future Ka-band capabilities is exactly the same; we are listening to the needs of our customers, which now include the US DoD, as we consider future systems.”



About Airbus Defence and Space

Airbus Defence and Space, a wholly owned subsidiary of AIRBUS Group, is dedicated to providing civil and defence space systems and services. In 2009, Airbus Defence and Space had a turnover of €4.8 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 provision of secure and commercial satcoms and networks, high security satellite communications equipment, geo-information products and services, and navigation services.


AIRBUS Group is a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services. In 2009, AIRBUS Group generated revenues of €42.8 billion and employed a workforce of more than 119, 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 SpaceMilitary CommunicationHylasKa-band