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Australia signs $40m satellite research deal with Airbus

Australia signs $40m satellite research deal with Airbus

Australia’s Department of Defence has agreed to a $40 million deal with Airbus for research on new satellite technologies.

The partnership includes the purchase of two Airbus Arrow 150 satellite buses valued at more than $20 million, which will be outfitted with technologies developed by local industry and academia.

The aerospace giant will be supported in delivering the RMS STaR Shot program by Inovor Technologies, Shoal Group and Deloitte.

Australia’s Chief Defence Scientist, Professor Tanya Monro, said, “By partnering with Airbus, we will fast track the development of critical satellite technologies for the ADF, and ensure that our war fighters have ongoing access to resilient and trusted communication, intelligence and surveillance services. 


“This is a true collaboration between government, industry and academia that will help position our growing Australian space sector to deliver future sovereign space technologies and operational capabilities.”

The selection process for the partnership was completed by a panel of experts from both Defence and the Australian Space Agency.

It’s hoped the agreement will lead to the creation of “leap-ahead” technologies and exploration of new operating concepts.

Richard Franklin, managing director of Airbus Defence and Space UK, said, “We will be working hand in hand with our Australia partners and Defence to identify the key skills, technologies and strategic advantages that this partnership can deliver to enable Australia to become a global space player in the next decade.” 


Monro said the additional Arrow satellites would provide early opportunities to take Australian-developed Defence payloads into space.

“As our domestic space sector matures, we will use locally designed and built satellites that are expected to be the most ambitious satellites ever designed and built in Australia,” she said.

“Self-reliance in space technologies is critical if we are to ensure the defence and security of the country.”

Earlier this year, Airbus also announced its intention to secure the tender for a $3 billion project to develop an independent military satellite communication system for Australia.


Liam McAneny

Liam McAneny

Liam McAneny is a journalist who has written and edited for his University International Relations journal. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (International Relations) and Bachelor of Laws from the University of Wollongong in 2021. He joined Momentum Media in 2022 and currently writes for SpaceConnect and Australian Aviation. Liam has a keen interest in geopolitics and international relations as well as astronomy.

Send Liam an email at: [email protected]

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