Australian operator Optus has awarded a contract to Airbus Defence and Space for a fully reconfigurable telecommunications satellite.

Under this contract, Airbus will deliver a solution based on its new standard OneSat product line. The manufacturer will be responsible for designing and producing the Optus 11 spacecraft, as well as manage end-to-end satellite resources.

It will also supply an advanced digital suite for payload management.

With these services and support, Optus will be capable of hosting payloads such as SBAS.

Airbus space systems head Jean-Marc Nasr said: “We are grateful to Optus for their trust in Airbus in a region where we have ambitions to work with local industry to support space technology development in both the civil and defence sectors.

“OneSat is a truly disruptive product, both from a manufacturing, and operational point of view, and gives customers the flexibility they need to serve their markets.

“This contract from Australia’s leading satellite operator, Optus, is a ringing endorsement that our R&D strategy in developing innovative products is the right one.

“OneSat’s high flexibility, very compact design and accelerated production should see the satellite in orbit for Optus in 2023.”

The Optus 11 Ku-band communications satellite will enhance direct-to-home broadcasting over Australasia by providing broadcast and broadband Very High Throughput Satellite (VHTS) missions over Australia and New Zealand.

In May, Airbus also secured a contract to build the third European Service Module (ESM) for the Orion spacecraft, which will be used to fly astronauts to the Moon in 2024.