After Brexit, Airbus aims to construct hundreds of broadband satellites in the United Kingdom to support British factories

A project to build a satellite constellation to improve superfast global broadband is exploring proposals to carry its development to Britain across the Atlantic. Sources said that last week, officials behind the OneWeb-British Government-backed company briefed civil servants on the benefits of transferring hundreds of satellites from Florida to the United Kingdom to produce the fleet. After Brexit, such a satellite project could offer another welcome boost to United Kingdom manufacturing.

The very first generation of Airbus satellites is being manufactured in the United States. The aerospace giant claims the next iteration of the satellite-sized washing machine will eventually be installed here. Airbus is a minor investor in OneWeb, a Britain space firm recently purchased by the UK Administration and Sunil Bharti Mittal, Indian telecoms tycoon, from bankruptcy protection.  After each investing $500 million in a transaction completed last month, the UK, as well as Mittal, now own 84%. There is a golden share of the country, which ensures it will determine who has access to the system. OneWeb is developing a 650 Leo-low earth orbit-satellites platform intended for remote areas to establish a global rapid broadband service.

Earlier in the month, it deployed 36 from a location in Russia, giving 110 currently in space. During the first phase of the programme, 650 satellites will eventually be developed, to produce up to 6,000. It is known that the government meeting this week centered on the technological implications of the OneWeb network and also how better to use it. The framework could theoretically help Britain’s intelligent traffic control systems for motorways. Company Secretary Alok Sharma indicated that the OneWeb investment might reinforce Britain’s industrial base mostly during summer. There were no firm plans set forward.

However, Richard Franklin, the managing director of defense as well as space at Airbus’ UK arm, said during an interaction with The Mail that his company is ready to make a move. ‘In Airbus, there is a real intention and appetite for development from the United Kingdom,’ he stated. But for first-generation, it seems impossible merely because the model is set as well as the distribution system has already been bought [development will remain in Florida].

It’s difficult to reverse any of the ‘today order,’ because we have the skills in the United kingdom for next-generation architecture and that we are waiting to expand in the next generation of development with the British Government as well as OneWeb,’ he said. ‘We have got the connections; we have got plenty of people and the potential. It’s just a matter of letting us get the economy going for generation one first.’ Franklin predicted that concept work would possibly start with full operation after the year about 2022-23.

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