Blacktree Technology, an Australian ultra-high frequency (UHF) ground systems specialist, has become the first member of global aerospace pioneer Airbus’ Team Maier, which will deliver a sovereign military satcom solution for Australia.
Team Maier will be responsible for growing the defence and space eco-system in the long term as well as delivering a complete Defence Satellite Communications System.
Airbus has worked with Blacktree Technology for 15 years as part of the Skynet programme, installing the UHF antennas for three satellite ground station sites for the Skynet 5 military satcom system.
This extended Airbus’ existing chain of teleports in France, Germany, Norway, the UK and the US, providing global coverage in both fixed and mobile satellite services.
“Working with Airbus on the Skynet programme to deliver innovative solutions to the UK MOD, was a key enabler in our mission to become a global market leader in satcom ground segment solutions,” Blacktree Technology CEO Joe Nevin said.
“Blacktree’s reach now extends from our headquarters in Australia, to solving communications problems for customers in the UK, Europe, US and to our long-standing customer, the Australian Defence Force.
“We welcome the opportunity to join Team Maier to deliver world leading, proven, sovereign solutions to military satcom programmes in Australia and, in particular, JP9102,” he said.
“At Airbus, we are always looking to increase our engagement with experts in military satcom, particularly SMEs, an approach that has proven successful and beneficial to all parties on the Skynet 5 programme,” Airbus campaign lead for the JP9102 programme Martin Rowse said.
“With this latest move, we will collaborate with Blacktree to explore how we can support the development of their capability and increase innovative solutions to existing and future customers.
“This is key as the Australian Defence Force prepares to move to a fully sovereign military satcom provision under the JP9102 programme,” he said.
Airbus is continuing to expand its investment and presence with vital secure connectivity services in Australia, having delivered naval communications solutions to the Royal Australian Navy for over 40 years.
Airbus has been responsible for delivering all secure, beyond line-of-sight communications to the UK MOD for 18 years, owning and operating the Skynet military communications satellite fleet. During this time, Skynet 5 satellites have been essential for keeping armed forces in theatre in touch with each other and bases in the UK. The satellites also ensure service personnel can keep in touch with loved ones, as part of the WelComE welfare communications service.
Airbus is committed to building its links and cooperation with defence and security businesses across Australia and grow Australia’s sovereign space capability via military satcom technology and services.