Airbus Defence and Space has selected the EUTELSAT 36D telecommunications satellite to host its Ultra High Frequency (UHF) payload in order to offer a military UHF communications service to the armed forces for operations on land, at sea and in the air.
As the UHF frequency band is a relatively scarce orbital resource, this offering will make up for the capacity shortage around the world. Airbus has already signed the first firm orders for this capacity, ahead of the satellite’s scheduled launch in the first half of 2024.
The UHF payload will be operated from Airbus’s Network Operations Centre in Toulouse. Its 18 UHF channels will enable up to 200 simultaneous communications over Europe, the Middle East, Africa, large parts of Asia, as well as the Atlantic Ocean (to eastern Brazil) and the Indian Ocean (to western Australia).
Military UHF satcoms have a high level of interoperability and are therefore very useful for multinational and coalition operations. The UHF band is flexible and is of particular interest to Special Forces units as it offers a lightweight, robust and highly secure means of communication.
The EUTELSAT 36D satellite will be built by Airbus based on its Eurostar Neo platform. In addition to the UHF payload, it will also be equipped with 70 Ku-band transponders for TV broadcasting.
Airbus is the only armed forces private satcom operator to cover the full spectrum of military (UHF, X, Ka Mil) and commercial (L, C/Ku, Ka) frequency bands and applications.