Airbus Defence and Space

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Dedicated communications for Germany

SATCOMBw-2With the SATCOMBw programme, the German Armed Forces owns a secure information network for use by units on deployed missions. This will allow voice and fax as well as advanced data, video and multimedia applications. For the first time the Bundeswehr has a secure communications system with dedicated military communications satellites.

Airbus Defence and Space was prime contractor of the space segment, which is composed of two satellites and based on a Spacebus platform. The first satellite was launched in autumn 2009, the second in spring 2010, both on board an Ariane 5 from the European space centre in Kourou, French Guiana.

Along with the in-orbit delivery of two communications satellites (COMSATBw 1 & 2) for operations in military frequencies (SHF/UHF) and the provision of additional commercial capacity in Ku- and C-band, the SATCOMBw Stage 2 contract includes the COMSATBw operation, the delivery of a comprehensive ground user terminal segment (fixed and transportable equipment) and upgrading the network management centre already installed with the Bundeswehr.

Both SATCOMBw satellites are positioned in geostationary orbit and provide communication services over an area stretching from America to eastern Asia, during their operational life of 15 years. The German space agency (DLR) assumes responsibility under a MilSat Services subcontract for operating the two satellites using several of its locations. In addition to that DLR channels important parts of the user traffic via its ground installations.

The contract runs for 10 years and there is an option to extend it for a further seven and a half years. The customer is the Federal Office for Information Management and Information Technology of the Bundeswehr (IT-AmtBw). The contractor is MilSat Services GmbH based in Bremen, which is owned by Airbus Defence and Space (74.9%) and the Friedrichshafen satellite network specialist ND SatCom (25.1%).


SATCOMBw-2, Copyright Airbus Defence and Space


Find details of ComSatBW-2 launch in the launch kit

Secure CommunicationsSATCOMBwTelecom Services