Airbus Defence and Space

Satellite-based telecommunication generates economic power

Munich/Ottobrunn, 20 October 2008 – Thanks to its huge leverage potential, satellite-based communication represents an important factor in the world’s economy.

In his capacity as Parliamentary State Secretary at Germany’s Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, and as the Federal Government Coordinator of German Aerospace Policy, Peter Hintze was able to convince himself of this fact during a visit to the Ottobrunn site of European space company Airbus Defence and Space.

  • Airbus Defence and Space the global market leader in commercial telecommunication satellites since 2006 – over 35 % of added value created in Germany
  • Supply contract signed with medium-sized enterprise
  • 250th solar panel produced for Airbus Defence and Space Eurostar satellite


Ottobrunn is where Airbus Defence and Space has concentrated significant parts of its German telecommunications business – including both system management and the development and manufacture of satellite equipment, subsystems and components. The new satellite-based military telecommunication system developed for the Bundeswehr, SatComBw Stage 2, is also being managed in Ottobrunn. Moreover, the site’s competence centre for solar generators and its ultra-modern antenna test facility play a leading role in the highly competitive global space market.


“The economic added value of public technology funding and research is particularly evident in the field of satellite-based telecommunications,” says Airbus Defence and Space CEO Evert Dudok. Every euro invested in this area returns at least ten euros to the economic cycle, he states, the majority of this added value actually being generated outside spaceflight itself, for instance through services and terminal equipment.


Airbus Defence and Space has an approximately 30 percent share in the global market for telecommunications satellites, Dudok continues, which has made it the world leader on the market in recent years. “At least 35 percent of each of Airbus Defence and Space’s telecommunications satellites comes from Germany. This provides work for some 1400 employees at Airbus Defence and Space’s German sites and at our subsidiary Tesat in Backnang.” Dudok praised the high level of competence of all the engineers involved and stressed the importance of recruiting new engineers for the site in Ottobrunn.


On the occasion of Hintze’s visit, Airbus Defence and Space announced the signing of a supplier contract with Azur Space, a medium-sized company based in Heilbronn, which will be in charge of delivering ultra-high-power gallium arsenide solar cells to Ottobrunn for its production up until 2011. The contract is worth a total of 75 million euros. Satellites have a varying demand for solar cells, reaching from 800 units (for small satellites) to 30,000 units for large telecommunications satellites such as the Alphabus. Airbus Defence and Space’s solar generators are more powerful than their present terrestrial counterparts by a factor of 2.6 under comparable operating conditions.


At present, Airbus Defence and Space’s solar generator centre is manufacturing its 250th panel for an Airbus Defence and Space communication satellite belonging to the Eurostar series. A Eurostar E 3000 needs ten such panels on its two deployable wings. The panels are about 4 x 2.3 metres large. So far, Airbus Defence and Space has received orders for 25 Eurostar satellites, 13 of which are already at work in space.

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 2007, Airbus Defence and Space had a turnover of €3.5 billion and 12,000 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, and Airbus Defence and Space for spacecraft and ground segment, and its wholly owned subsidiary 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 2007, AIRBUS Group generated revenues of €39.1 billion and employed a workforce of more than 116, 000.


Press contact:

Mathias Pikelj , Phone: +49 (0) 7545 8 9123



Peter Hintze, Parliamentary Secretary of State at Germany´s Ministry of Econmics, visited Airbus Defence and Space Ottobrunn to inform himself about the current activities in the field of telecommunications.

Our pictures shows Günter Adam, Head of Solargenerators (left), Peter Hintze and Evert Dudok (right) in front of the 250. Solarpanel for an Airbus Defence and Space Eurostar 3000 Satellite.

TelecommunicationsEurostar series