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INMARSAT TO LAUNCH THREE NEXT GENERATION GX SATELLITES

Thursday, May 30, 2019 

Airbus Defence & Space (Airbus) has selected Inmarsat, the satellite communications company, as its satellite manufacturing partner. The partnership is expected to provide a step-change in the development of Inmarsat’s Global Xpress (GX) network that sustains Fleet Xpress maritime broadband connectivity.

The partnership, marking the beginning of the next phase of GX’s evolution, will see Inmarsat manufacture three next-generation GX satellites (GX7, 8 & 9), with the first scheduled to launch in H1 2023.  

The new satellite programme is expected to transform Inmarsat’s global network, providing unprecedented agility in space segment deployment, as well as an enhanced ability to adopt and integrate future technology innovation and disruption to the GX product line.

This network development encompasses a major enhancement to the GX ground network, which will deliver full integration of each generation of GX satellites to form a highly-secure, inter-operable, ultra-high performance network. Future GX satellites offering new capabilities can easily be added to this dynamic framework whenever and wherever demand dictates. The network will also be able to benefit from future technology innovation.

Rupert Pearce, Chief Executive Officer, Inmarsat said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Airbus who have more than risen to the significant strategic and technological challenges we set them. This announcement signals the start of a new long-term strategic partnership…. This next phase in the evolution of our GX network provides a dynamic and powerful answer to the challenges created by this growth in demand, building on the strong foundations we have already established.

“Significantly, our new approach in collaboration with Airbus and other technology partners will provide us with much greater velocity and agility with which to respond to future competitive challenges and to adopt new technologies on a highly dynamic, rolling basis.”

Airbus’ Head of Space Systems, Nicolas Chamussy said: “We are launching the Onesat product line for our customer Inmarsat, following the successes of the Airbus-built Inmarsat-4 spacecraft, Alphasat and the Inmarsat-6 satellites, currently under construction. This latest contract continues the long-standing innovation relationship between Airbus and Inmarsat. Onesat is a truly disruptive product, both from a manufacturing and operational point of view, which allows Airbus to offer our customer a market enabling solution with reduced cost and time to orbit.”

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