Airbus announced on 15 December that Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) will exclusively join Team Maier, the Airbus-led team, in the bid to deliver next-generation military satellite communications (MILSATCOM) capability to Australia under the JP9102 program.
SSTL will become Team Maier’s first Industry Development Partner, a unique component of the team’s approach to developing Australian Industry Capability (AIC) and supporting the country’s long term space sovereignty ambitions.
SSTL has over 40 years of experience in satellite hardware and services innovation and the company has notched up more than 500 years of in-orbit service. The company has previously developed sovereign space capabilities through more than 20 bespoke customer training programmes for numerous governments, including some of Australia’s closest allies.
The company has pioneered small satellite solutions and technologies and has worked on collaborative space missions in the US and Canada, fellow Five Eyes members.
SSTL has also been instrumental in the recent advancement of bespoke smallsat, cubesat and microsat solutions for a multitude of use cases including Earth observation, communications and navigation. It is part of programs to build a Lunar communications array, as well as small satellite missions to measure climate variables and heat emissions from buildings and urban facilities.
“Team Maier is a unique partnership that will develop a truly sovereign MILSATCOM capability for Australia by enhancing Australia's industrial capabilities in the sector,” said Clive Oates, Head of Americas and Five Eyes Nations, SSTL. “We believe this approach will enable Australia to develop into a space sector leader in the long term and we are proud to be adding our expertise to this effort.”
Martin Rowse, Airbus Campaign Lead for the JP9102 program, said: “SSTL will bring unparalleled experience to Team Maier. The team has been at the forefront of building sovereign MILSATCOM capabilities for other nations, including our Five Eyes allies, for decades. Furthermore, the company’s experience in innovative satellite use cases means that Team Maier is ready to meet any requirements that Australia requires. We are very happy to have such a strong addition to the team.”
SSTL is based in the UK and will join existing Team Maier members Blacktree, Clearbox, Microsoft, UGL and Willyama.
Team Maier is a teaming arrangement that seeks to combine Australian space, technology and academic partners with leading international expertise to provide Australia with a sovereign MILSATCOM capability and encourage the growth of Australian Industry Capability (AIC) in the space sector.