London, 23 October 2023 - Airbus and United States-headquartered defence prime Northrop Grumman announced today the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to develop and foster a strategic partnership in military satellite communications for the UK’s future wideband SKYNET military satellite communications programme.

The agreement between the two leading European and United States-based defence and space firms will bring together the latest technology and will see the two companies' experience, knowledge, and capability mutually shared to address military satellite communication requirements for the British Ministry of Defence.

Airbus Portsmouth

Airbus and Northrop Grumman say the partnership is vitally important as military forces increasingly use space-based assets to fulfil their missions and require specialised technology to transmit information via space. The two companies will be teaming up to offer customers the very latest military satellite communication technologies for users and ensure they are always connected and able to process the increasing amount of data collected and disseminated on the ground, in the air, at sea and in orbit. 

Airbus Defence and Space, the largest aeronautics, space, and defence company in Europe, is a proven and trusted partner to the UK and its Allies, and has a successful history of delivering cutting-edge space technologies on time and to budget. Northrop Grumman - the world's largest space company - has put innovative products and ideas into orbit, on the Moon and beyond.

Ben Bridge, UK Chairman of Airbus Defence and Space, said: “Partnering with Northrop Grumman will enable us to address the evolving requirements of Britain's military satellite communications' needs, and we believe our joint expertise offers the very best capabilities for the UK, now and in the future.

He added: “This transatlantic collaboration builds on the strong Airbus and Northrop Grumman relationship and further unites UK, European and American interests in space.”

Troy Brashear, vice president, National Security Systems, Northrop Grumman Space Systems, said: “This partnership with Airbus brings together the very best of the US, UK and European space industries. The team will provide our customers with innovative, reliable and affordable military satellite communications technology to meet the rapidly evolving requirements of today’s environment.”

Your contact

Aeron Haworth

Senior External Communications Manager - Airbus Defence and Space UK