OneWeb holds onto Florida factory
December 17, 2021
By Chris Forrester
OneWeb is currently building its satellites at a joint-venture facility it owns with Airbus Space & Defense in Florida. It recently emerged that it is planning to build its second-generation satellites in the UK. Airbus has existing UK manufacturing facilities in Portsmouth and Stevenage.
OneWeb has now said that it has no plans to close its Florida plant. The new UK facility will come online around 2025 according to Chris McLaughlin, OneWeb’s chief of regulatory affairs.
Massimiliano Ladovaz, CTO at OneWeb, clarified Mr McLaughin’s comments saying that OneWeb had issued an industry-wide Request for Information as regards its Generation 2.0 versions.
“We are still evaluating exactly how the entire supply chain for Gen 2 will be deployed,” Ladovaz said. “Clearly, there will be an important presence in the UK, we’re not denying that. But we’re going to look at the best in class everywhere.”
There is considerable demand for the manufacture of smallish low Earth orbiting satellites and an apparently enthusiastic number of billionaires and countries who want their own satellite constellations.