DARPA Taps Airbus Subsidiary for Satellite Bus Dev’t Contract

The Herndon, Va.-based subsidiary of Airbus Group has received a contract of an undisclosed value to develop a satellite bus intended for a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency demonstration program.

Airbus said Monday the contract will allow its defense and space business and joint venture with OneWeb to offer services under DARPA’s Blackjack program, where

DARPA looks to procure commercial satellite buses for potential use with military payload and sensor technologies. and payloads. A bus is intended to help power satellites, transmit spacecraft telemetry and provide mounting locations for sensors.

The program aims to demonstrate military applications of low-Earth orbit satellite and mesh network systems.

Tim Deaver, director of U.S. programs at Airbus Defense and Space, said the company spent hundreds of millions of dollars on projects to build small satellites and seeks to help government customers apply commercial satellite technology in efforts to develop new constellations.

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