Airbus is restructuring its U.S. operations into a new business unit – Airbus U.S. Space and Defense – as part of a special security agreement with the U.S. government in an effort to further build up its presence in the space, defense and intelligence markets, SpaceNews reported Wednesday.
The Arlington, Va.-based business unit will focus on satellites, military aircraft and geospatial intelligence as its primary markets and Christopher Emerson, CEO and chairman of the board of Airbus U.S. Space and Defense, said the business will compete for defense and national security contracts through the SSA.
Emerson said Airbus plans to work with companies in the U.S. to provide space technology platforms to NASA in support of its space exploration efforts and other agencies.
“We will build supply chains in the U.S. to support programs long term,” he added.
Jose Antonio de la Fuente will serve as head of military aircraft at Airbus U.S. Space and Defense, while Debra Facktor and Didier Cormary will respectively lead space and connected intelligence within the business unit.
Airbus U.S. Space and Defense’s independent board of directors has five new members, including Letitia Long, former director of the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency and a 2020 Wash100 Award winner.
The advisory board consists of seven new members, including former NGA Director and four-time Wash100 awardee Robert Cardillo.