Airbus Defence and Space

Airbus Defence and Space wins ground segment contract for future French Defence observation satellite system

• The French procurement agency DGA has awarded Space Systems (formerly known as Airbus Defence and Space) a contract to build the user ground segment of the future French space observation system

• The contract covers 12 years of through-life support for the system

• The MUSIS system is designed to provide military observation from 2017 onwards when it is set to progressively take over from Hélios

Space Systems of Airbus Defence and Space, number two worldwide in space technologies, has been selected by the French armament procurement agency DGA to build the user ground segment (UGS) of the MUSIS (MUltinational Space-based Imaging System for surveillance, reconnaissance and observation) observation satellite programme. This new deal includes providing through-life support for the user ground segment for 12 years.

In 2010, Airbus Defence and Space signed the contract with the French Space Agency CNES to manufacture the satellites. The MUSIS programme satellites are set to progressively take over from the Hélios programme satellites.

This ground segment will allow programming commands to be sent to the MUSIS satellites and to receive, generate, distribute and store the images they acquire. The UGS will also enable the French armed forces to access all the existing and future satellite observation sensors.

The ground segment is set to become operational by 2017 – the year in which the first satellite of the MUSIS programme will be launched.

“This contract has been secured thanks to the technological excellence and reliability of Space Systems in the space domain, which is currently experiencing especially intense competition in major institutional markets,” said François Auque, Head of Space Systems (formerly Airbus Defence and Space). “Airbus Defence and Space’s know-how and that of our partners, chief among them the teams at Cassidian – with whom we now work together in the same division –made all the difference with our customer, the DGA. I would like to thank the DGA for renewing the faith they have shown in us for more than 25 years now.”

The industrial team put together by Airbus Defence and Space in building the UGS is made up of leading defence and network infrastructure specialists (Capgemini, CS, etc) and innovative SMEs such as Magellium.


About Airbus Defence and Space

Airbus Defence and Space is a division of Airbus Group formed by combining the business activities of Cassidian, Airbus Defence and Space and Airbus Military. The new division is Europe’s number one defence and space enterprise, the second largest space business worldwide and among the top ten global defence enterprises. It employs some 40,000 employees generating revenues of approximately €14 billion per year.



Jeremy Close             + 44 14 38 77 38 72

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