Eutelsat Communications has signed a new multimillion-pound deal with Airbus Defence and Space to build the components of two satellites in the UK.

As part of the deal, Airbus will build components and major assembly parts at its sites in Portsmouth and Stevenage.

The facilities will manufacture the entire communications payload, platform structure, propulsion subsystem, antennas and several mechanisms for both satellites.

Final assembly of the spacecraft will be performed at Airbus site in Toulouse, France.

The deal is valued at more than €200m, according to cityam.com.

“The Spaceport will further develop our expertise and capabilities in the space sector, enabling us to launch small satellites.”

According to the publication, six out of seven new Eutelsat satellites will be partially built in the UK, representing an annual inward investment of up to €40m (£35.5m).

The deal is also expected to support 500 highly skilled jobs in both Portsmouth and Stevenage.

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The two new Eutelsat are set to replace three of the company’s existing satellites and scheduled to be launched in 2021.

UK Business Secretary Greg Clark said: “The UK is already a world-leader in developing satellite technology, with a 40% share of the global export market of small satellites and building major parts for one in four of the world’s commercial telecommunications satellites.

“This new deal builds on the recent announcement, as part of our Industrial Strategy, that the UK is investing in, and building, its first proposed spaceport in Sutherland.

“The Spaceport will further develop our expertise and capabilities in the space sector, enabling us to launch small satellites.”

Experts from the UK have so far supported the development of 23 of Eutelsat’s 38 satellites that are currently in operation.