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Czech and Dutch forces to get access to Airbus military satcom solution

A rendition of Eutelsat 36D, a GEO satellite that will be integrated with Airbus' military satcom payload. (Airbus)

Airbus will provide military satellite communications (satcom) services to the Czech and Dutch armed forces.

The ministries of defence for the Czech Republic and the Netherlands signed an agreement with Airbus to access the company's ultra-high frequency (UHF) military satcom payload onboard the Eutelsat 36D telecommunications satellite, the company announced on 9 September.

According to the announcement, the countries will utilise two and three channels, respectively, of Airbus' UHF payload over a 15-year period.

Eutelsat 36D is an upcoming multimission geostationary orbit (GEO) telecommunications satellite that is scheduled for launch in the first half of 2024. Built by Airbus, the spacecraft is based on the Airbus Eurostar Neo platform, and will have 70 Ku-band transponders over five downlink beams, as well as a steerable antenna, offering flexibility and performance optimisation, the company detailed. The satellite will replace and enhance capacity at 36° East, an important orbital slot for government services over Africa, Europe, and Russia, the company added.

The payload will offer the armed forces a new UHF communications service, particularly for European and NATO customers. It will be operated from Airbus' Network Operations Centre in Toulouse. With 18 UHF channels, the satcom solution will enable up to 200 simultaneous communications, the company stated.

In June 2021 Airbus announced that the Eutelsat 36D satellite would be integrated with Airbus UHF military satcom payload.

UHF is a relatively scarce orbital resource, and the military UHF offering will make up for the capacity shortage around the world, Airbus said. The company has signed several firm orders for this capacity, ahead of the satellite's scheduled launch.

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