British defence, aerospace and satellite communications technology company Cobham has won a $200m (£135.29m, €176.17m) contract from French aircraft manufacturer Airbus to provide its new Inmarsat SB200 Evolution satellite communications systems known as Aviator 200S and 700S to Airbus. These will be used by the French company in its single aisle and long range aircraft from 2018.
"The Aviator 200S shipset aims at providing voice and data air-ground communication for the Aircraft Control Domain (ACD) and the Airline Information Services Domain (AISD) as well as to the Passenger Information and Entertainment Services Domain (PIESD) in its alternate configuration (Aviator 700S). It connects ACD applications to high-priority air-ground communication channels for regulated communications between pilots and Air Traffic Control, as well as providing independent air-ground communications for other aircraft systems such as Electronic Flight-Bags (EFBs), in-flight entertainment, cabin distribution and other connected off-board networks," a Cobham statement explained.
While the deal is said to be worth about $200m, there is potential for Cobham to earn beyond this, as the demand for satcom capability on board aircraft increases, the Wimborne Minster headquartered company said.
On how Airbus would benefit from the deal, the FTSE 250 company said: "The Compact SwiftBroadband (SBB) single channel system, of which Aviator 200S plays a key role, is central to the new satellite communication solution offered by Airbus to its customers. The system brings significantly reduced installation requirements and reduced power, weight and cost."
This is not the first contract that Cobham has won from Airbus. As recently as June 2016, it bagged an Airbus contract worth "several hundred million" dollars for the supply of its new radio and audio integrated management system.
Eiji Kawaishi, senior vice president at Cobham Aerospace Communications, said: "This is the second major contract won with Airbus in two months to equip their A320neo Aircraft family. The Digital Radio and Audio Integrated Management System announced last month and the Light Inmarsat Satcom System are two critical systems for the aircraft. We are extremely proud of the confidence shown by Airbus in awarding Cobham this dual selection."