Loft Orbital contracted Airbus for 15 satellite platforms based on the Airbus Arrow platform, which serves the OneWeb constellation. The agreement brings together a traditional space manufacturer and a satellite-as-a-service startup.
Airbus has agreed to modify the Arrow platform to suit a wider range of longer lifetime missions and applications. The companies said in the Friday announcement that the engineering, qualification, test, and production of the first few spacecraft will be performed by Airbus in Toulouse. The production at scale of the remaining Arrow-derived platforms will be performed by Airbus OneWeb Satellites (AOS), currently based in Florida.
Loft Orbital, based in San Francisco and Toulouse, France, offers end-to-end service to space customers with modular hardware and software products that allow any payload to fly on any commodity satellite bus. This deal with Airbus follows after Loft Orbital recently expanded its production agreement with LeoStella for an unspecified number of satellite buses.
Loft Orbital said this procurement opens the door to more orders in the future.
“Leveraging Airbus engineering experience and Airbus OneWeb Satellites production capabilities is enabling us to truly bring Loft’s vision to life. While we are using this initial procurement to deliver to our customers who have ordered services based on a few tens of satellites, we see this as an opportunity to offer much larger constellation services to governments and companies worldwide,” commented Loft Orbital CEO Pierre-Damien Vaujour.
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