Airbus Defense & Space

Airbus Defense & Space is a division of Airbus Group responsible for defense and aerospace products and services. The division was formed in January 2014 during the corporate restructuring of European Aeronautic Defense and Space (EADS), and comprises the former Airbus Military, Astrium, and Cassidian divisions.

Airbus Defense and Space is presented in dozens of countries on six continents and is a world-leading player in the space industry and Europe’s No. 1 in Defense and Space. Their spacecraft manufacturing division is designer and builder of over 100 communications satellites for a vast range of applications, such as communication-, weather-, Military & Government Satellites.

History & merges of Airbus Defense & Space

Matra Marconi Space was established in 1990 as a joint venture between the space and telecommunication divisions of the Lagardère Group (Matra Espace) and the GEC group (Marconi Space Systems). The merged company was announced in December 1989 and was owned 51% by Matra and 49% by GEC-Marconi. It would have annual sales of 300 million UKP, with 8.7 million UKP in assets from Marconi Space Systems and 10.7 million UKP in assets from Matra Espace.

Later on, in July 1995, GEC bought 45% of shares in the National Remote Sensing Centre for the company. Also in July 1995, the company was looking to link up with Aérospatiale of Toulouse and DASA of Germany to form a Europe-wide space company that would link up with DASA five years later.

Aérospatiale, originally known as Société nationale industrielle aérospatiale (SNIAS) and headquartered in Paris, was a French state-owned aerospace manufacturer that built both civilian and military aircraft, rockets and satellites. The former assets of Aérospatiale are now part of Airbus Group, except the Satellites activities which merged with Alcatel and became Alcatel Space in 1999 and since 2006 Thales Alenia Space.

SNIAS was created in 1970 by the merger of the state-owned companies Sud Aviation, Nord Aviation and Société d'études et de réalisation d'engins balistiques (SEREB). Starting in 1971 it was directed by Henri Ziegler. Its North American Marketing arm French Aerospace Corporation was renamed to European Aerospace Corporation in 1971.

In 1991 the company assisted in the construction of the revolutionary chassis of the Bugatti EB110 Supercar. The chassis was built completely of carbon fiber, and was very lightweight.

In 1992, DaimlerBenz Aerospace AG (DASA) and Aérospatiale combined their helicopter divisions to form the Eurocopter Group.

In 1999, Aérospatiale, except for the satellites activities, merged with Matra Haute Technologie to form Aérospatiale-Matra and n 2001, Aérospatiale-Matra's missile group was merged with Matra BAe Dynamics and the missile division of Alenia Marconi Systems to form MBDA.

On July 10th, 2000, Aérospatiale-Matra merged with Construcciones Aeronáuticas SA (CASA) of Spain and DaimlerChrysler Aerospace AG (DASA) of Germany to form Astrium, an aerospace manufacturer subsidiary of the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company (EADS) that provided civil and military space systems and services from 2006 to 2013. In 2012, Astrium, as a member of Institute of Space and its Applications and Technologies, had a turnover of 5.8 billion euro and 18,000 employees in France, Germany, the UK, Spain and the Netherlands.

On 31 July 2013, European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company (EADS) announced that it would change its corporate name to Airbus Group by the end of the year, and that Astrium, Cassidian, and the Airbus Military divisions would be merged to form a new company: Airbus Defense & Space.

In January 2014, the parent company EADS effected the reorganization as Airbus Group, of three subsidiary companies that include Airbus Defense & Space, Airbus, and Airbus Helicopters.

Airbus Defense & Space’ major competitors are Boeing Commercial Satellite Systems (BCSS), Lockheed Martin, Thales Alenia Space, Space Systems/Loral and JSC Information Satellite Systems. As of September 2015, there are xx Airbus Defense & Space-built GEO satellites currently in orbit.