• Airbus Defence: A mighty giant in space and defence

We are all familiar with Airbus, the renowned European aircraft manufacturer that has made an indisputable mark on the aerospace industry.

But Airbus is not only synonymous with aircraft – it goes beyond that! Within this giant hides a fundamental pillar: the defence and space division.

In this instalment, we take a closer look at Airbus Defence and Space, the military arm of this European colossus. Are you ready for the journey?

The beginnings of Airbus Defence

The history of Airbus may be long and fascinating, but Airbus Defence traces its lineage back to 2000 with the creation of the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS).

In 2014, following a series of corporate mergers, EADS became Airbus Group and reorganised its operations into three divisions: Airbus, Airbus Helicopters and Airbus Defence and Space.

Airbus Defence is thus the arm responsible for designing, developing and manufacturing aerospace and military systems for customers around the world.

Pillars of innovation

Airbus Defence has an impressive product portfolio, ranging from combat, transport and refuelling aircraft to satellites, launchers, spacecraft, communication and intelligence systems. Some of its most renowned projects include:

  • The Eurofighter Typhoon, a state-of-the-art fighter serving several NATO countries and other allies.
  • The A400M Atlas, a military transport capable of carrying up to 37 tonnes of cargo or 116 soldiers.
  • The A330 MRTT, a tanker aircraft that can refuel other aircraft in flight or carry passengers and cargo.
  • The Ariane 5, a launch rocket that can deliver commercial or scientific satellites into orbit.
  • Columbus, the European module of the International Space Station (ISS), which houses laboratories and experiments.
  • ExoMars, a joint mission with the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Russian Space Agency (Roscosmos) to explore Mars with an orbiter and rover.

Airbus Defence’s global reach

With more than 50,000 employees in over 35 countries, and a global network of partners and suppliers, Airbus Defence is truly a global force.

Its main customers are governments and space agencies in Europe, but it also has contracts with countries such as the United States, Canada, Australia, India, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Not only that, but it also provides solutions to private companies, such as satellite operators, airlines and security service providers.

Airbus: A force without limits

Who would have thought that Airbus would also dive into the world of military defence? Thanks to its vast experience in the design, development and production of aerospace systems, it has managed to enter the space and military sectors as easily as pie.

If you found this article interesting, don’t miss our next post on the history of the Boeing 747. Stay tuned to our aviation blog!

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