Airbus News in Brief


ACJ delivers an ACJ319neo to a new private customer: Airbus Corporate Jets (ACJ) has delivered an ACJ319neo, powered by CFM International LEAP-1A engines, to a new West European undisclosed private customer from the final assembly line in Hamburg. The aircraft will be managed by Jet Aviation and will be available for charter flights. “This demonstrates the value of the ACJ319neo for the business aviation market! The aircraft’s latest technology engines and Sharklets enable even longer intercontinental flights in the widest single aisle cabin in the sky, while delivering at least 20 percent fuel-saving and excellent economics combined with a robust 99.9 percent operational reliability,” says Airbus Corporate Jets President Benoit Defforge. The ACJ319neo joins more than 2,200 A320neo and A321neo aircraft already in service with airlines around the world. Airbus supports more than 500 customers and operators through a worldwide network of field service, spares and training centres, complemented by services tailored to the needs of private jet operators. More than 210 Airbus corporate jets are in service worldwide, flying on every continent, and more than 1,800 private and business aviation Airbus helicopters are in service globally.

Airbus Protect launched: Airbus Protect, a new Airbus subsidiary bringing together the company’s expertise in cybersecurity, safety and sustainability-related services, has  officially been established. The aim of this new entity is to provide a unique global service offering to protect Airbus company-wide and meet the needs of external authorities and commercial customers, including in the field of critical infrastructures. The new organisation brings together more than 1,200 experts based in France, Germany, the UK, Spain and Belgium who will grow Airbus’ capabilities and leverage synergies to further develop its expertise in these key areas. “We are proud to see Airbus Protect go live today to support Airbus’ ambition to develop an integrated offering in this critical business area,” said Thierry Racaud, Airbus Protect CEO. “Our teams are committed to meeting our customers’ needs and challenges ahead with an exceptional group of professionals and resources at all levels. The diversification of fields of application linked to the size of Airbus and its products will provide a fabulous playground for them and for the new talents that will join us in the future.” The combination of Airbus’ competences in services related to cybersecurity, safety and sustainability (notably the management of environmental, corporate responsibility, health and safety risks) will offer opportunities for external growth in different market segments, where the Company’s expertise in protecting highly sensitive and demanding systems will create strong value propositions.

Airbus awarded FORUM Earth monitoring satellite contract from ESA: Airbus has been awarded a €160 million contract for the European Space Agency’s (ESA) FORUM satellite to measure heat emitted from the Earth into space. FORUM, short for Far-infrared Outgoing Radiation Understanding and Monitoring, will be the first satellite to observe Earth in the far-infrared part of the spectrum, providing unique measurements of the Earth’s outgoing energy to help improve understanding of the climate system. Measurements from FORUM’s spectrometer will enable scientists to compile a high resolution view of the Earth’s greenhouse effect and the properties of ice clouds and water vapour in the atmosphere. Airbus is mission prime with OHB providing the instrument. Jean-Marc Nasr, Head of Airbus Space Systems said: “This critical Earth observation mission to measure infrared radiation from the Earth for the first time, will give scientists and climatologists the data they need to improve their global warming forecasts. It builds on Airbus’ heritage in designing and manufacturing cost efficient small Earth observation missions including Sentinel-5P and is the sixth Airbus primed Earth Explorer mission for the European Space Agency.” Airbus in Stevenage will lead the development of the satellite, with Airbus in Germany responsible for the Instrument signal detection chain, and Airbus in France providing platform product support. The main instrument on FORUM will be a Fourier Transform Spectrometer operating in the far-infrared. The Sun’s incoming shortwave radiation is absorbed at the Earth’s surface and re-emitted into space, through the atmosphere, at longer infrared wavelengths. FORUM will measure the signature of this outgoing radiation, from which a crucial understanding of water vapour, ice clouds, surface snow and ice, carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas characteristics can be derived. The satellite will also be equipped with a thermal imager for ground sample validation.

Airbus delivers third radar for Copernicus Sentinel-1: Airbus has finished the third instrument for the Sentinel-1 satellite series. It features a world premiere of a new separation mechanism which will help avoid space debris. The C-band radar for the Copernicus Sentinel-1C satellite, is now on its way to “meet” its spacecraft at Thales Alenia Space facilities in Rome, Italy, where it will undergo integration and testing. The satellite is scheduled for launch in the first half of 2023. The C-band radar beam the instrument produces can determine changes in the Earth’s surface with an accuracy of a few millimetres, supplying imagery for maritime and land monitoring, emergency response, climate change and security. Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) has the advantage of operating at wavelengths not impeded by cloud cover or a lack of illumination and can acquire data over a site during the day or night in all weather conditions . Having a primary operational mode over land and another over open ocean allows pre-programmed operation. Typically a radar image is acquired over a wide swath (250 km) with high geometric (typically 5m by 20m) resolution. Largely identical to its two predecessors, the new radar instrument for Sentinel-1C has one special feature, an invention patented by Airbus that is being used for the first time. It features soldered joints installed at the main connection points to the satellite, which melt when exposed to strong heating and separate the radar antenna from the satellite platform. Both parts are then separately exposed to the full frictional heat and burn up earlier and faster, on re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere at the end of the satellite’s 7.25 years lifetime. As a result the Airbus invention makes a contribution to avoiding space debris and protecting the environment in orbit. The T/R modules (Transmit & Receive) and the Front End Electronics were developed and produced by Thales Alenia Space to Airbus specifications.

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