Airbus and Intelsat have signed a contract to build two OneSat satellites operating in multiple frequency bands for Intelsat’s next-generation software-defined network.

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    According to Intelsat, OneSat is designed to deliver the optimal balance between performance, flexibility and competitive cost per bit. The satellites will be based on Airbus’ OneSat product line, the latest generation of fully flexible, in orbit reconfigurable software defined satellites (SDS). Airbus, which recently celebrated the delivery of the company’s first US-assembled A220 aircraft, will be delivering an end-to-end fully integrated solution, including design and manufacture of the satellites.

    The satellites will be delivered in 2023. Jean-Marc Nasr, head of Airbus Space Systems commented: “This important contract with our long-standing and valued partner Intelsat, has a special significance for Airbus. With six satellites now in production – plus options – for three major operators, OneSat has proven that when it comes to fully reconfigurable satellites, Airbus is the winning choice. Our new industrial capabilities put in place at our sites across Europe, together with our solid experience in Eurostar geostationary satellites and mega-constellation manufacturing, will enable production of our truly disruptive OneSats at an unrivalled pace.”

    Intelsat says the agreement marks the beginning of a radical evolution of Intelsat’s network, with the company pursuing an aggressive, multi-year network transformation plan with investments in new assets designed for extremely high speeds, enhanced capacity flexibility, redundancy and backwards compatibility.

    “Intelsat’s investment in Airbus software defined satellites marks an important first step in evolving the world’s largest, most resilient, integrated space and ground network”, commented Intelsat’s CEO Stephen Spengler. “Intelsat’s next-generation software-defined network will be the catalyst for our growth, enabling future Gogo Commercial Aviation inflight broadband services, as well as other managed services across Intelsat’s customer segments.”