Airbus U.S. Space & Defense has announced the completion of a deal with Eutelsat OneWeb, acquiring its 50% share of the Airbus OneWeb Satellites (AOS) joint venture. This means that Airbus is now the sole owner of AOS and the satellite manufacturing facility in Merritt Island, Florida.
The new ownership structure is expected to bring maximum efficiency and increased competitiveness for commercial, institutional, and national security space customers.
Robert Geckle, Chairman and CEO of Airbus U.S. Space & Defense, expressed his excitement about the agreement, stating that it further solidifies their position as a market leader in the small satellite constellation business. He also mentioned their successful partnership with OneWeb and their commitment to continue mass producing small satellites for their customers. Geckle added that they are looking forward to the future on Florida’s Space Coast as they move forward.
Airbus U.S. Space & Defense has recently retooled the Merritt Island factory to accommodate the Arrow450 production line. They are also starting an expansion project to meet the increased demand for small satellites from commercial and government customers, further establishing their presence in Florida.
The Airbus OneWeb Satellites joint venture was established in 2016 and has already built over 600 satellites at a rate of two per day for the OneWeb first generation constellation, which is currently operating in orbit.