Airbus Defence and Space

Airbus Defence and Space contract with OHB for the delivery of a reconnaissance satellite to the German Armed Forces

18 September 2013 – Airbus Defence and Space, Europe’s leading space company, and OHB System AG (Bremen, Germany) today signed a contract in Friedrichshafen for the development, construction and launch of a high performance radar satellite for the ‘SARah’ satellite-based reconnaissance system, for a total value of 344 million euros.

The contract also covers the provision of all necessary components for the ground segment to ensure the image production process, from requesting images through to final delivery is fully operational from the end of 2019.

The overall SARah system consists of three satellites and two ground stations. The space segment consists of two satellites equipped with the reflector technology from OHB, and a third satellite, equipped with Airbus Defence and Space’s proven phased-array technology, currently operating perfectly in orbit on the civil satellites TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X.

The term ‘phased-array’ is used to describe phase-controlled antennas made up of numerous individual transmitter/receiver modules which can be interconnected, bundled and variably controlled. This enables direction and range of view to be adjusted without needing to move the antennas mechanically, thus providing the user with rapid image sequencing, variable image sizes and ‘blur-free’ recordings.

“This is the first time that Airbus Defence and Space is supplying an Earth observation satellite to the German Armed Forces – and in addition it will be equipped with the latest technology, namely the ultra-high performance active phased-array. Not only will this significantly enhance the German Forces’ capabilities, it also helps better position Germany industrially for the future,” said Evert Dudok, Head of Airbus Defence and Space in Germany, at the contract’s signing.

About Airbus Defence and Space

Airbus Defence and Space is the number one company in Europe for space technologies and the second in the world. It is the only global company that covers the full range of civil and defence space systems, equipment and services.

In 2012, Airbus Defence and Space had a turnover over €5.8 billion and 18,000 employees worldwide.

Its three business units are: Airbus Defence and Space, the European prime contractor for launchers, orbital systems and space exploration; Airbus Defence and Space, a leading provider of satellite system solutions, including spacecraft, ground segments, payloads and equipments; Airbus Defence and Space, the Space services partner for critical missions, providing comprehensive fixed and mobile solutions covering secure and commercial satcoms and networks, and bespoke geo-information services, worldwide.

Airbus Defence and Space is a wholly owned subsidiary of AIRBUS Group, a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services. In 2012, the Group – comprising Airbus, Airbus Defence and Space, Cassidian and Eurocopter – generated revenues of €56.5 billion and employed a workforce of over 140,000.

Press contacts

Jeremy Close (Airbus Defence and Space UK)                                                       Tel.: +44 (0)1 438 77 3872

Gregory Gavroy (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

Earth ObservationAirbus Defence and SpaceRadarTerraSAR-XTanDEM-X