It was announced at the start of the year that the MOD will be working with start-up company Oxford Space Systems (OSS) to design antennas for a sovereign satellite radar system. This partnership is the largest contract placed with a first-time supplier by the DASA (Defence and Security Accelerator).
Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson commented that the MOD must “accelerate the development of new, innovative capabilities – especially those in the space domain”.
Read more about this partnership.
Investment into space technology
The UK Government is investing heavily into pioneering space technology in 2019 with the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) and the Defence Innovation Fund investing £1 million into the satellite radar system project.
Dr Lucy Mason, Head of DASA, said:
“Our work with OSS ticks all DASA’s objectives; not only did we provide the initial stimulus to establish this partnership, but it will also open up opportunities for truly cross-government collaboration, with the potential to meet the needs of both our defence and security customers.”
Tendering opportunities in the pipeline for start-ups
The UK Government has a goal to develop and launch a constellation of British spacecraft by 2020 which will collect data and intelligence for both tactical and operational applications.
This plan is being kicked off by the newly appointed contractors Oxford Space Systems. They are to develop a 3-3.5m deployable antenna, with plans to make 5m structures for other radar applications.
The Senior Commercial Strategist at OSS, Shefali Sharma, stated that this opportunity to work with the MOD puts the business on a global stage and that its “doors are open to international trade”.
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