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Airbus Defence and Space embarks on networking R&D venture with Cisco

Airbus Defence and Space partners with Cisco to develop networking systems around SDN, security, mobile, cloud and the internet of things

Airbus Defence and Space has signed an agreement with networking company Cisco to combine their strengths around defence, security and satellite communications industries.

Airbus Defence and Space – the defence and space technology division of European aeronautics giant Airbus – and Cisco hope to pool their resources to develop systems around software-defined networking (SDN), security, mobile, cloud, data intelligence and the internet of things (IoT).

The two firms already have a successful relationship around the research and development of space-based routing technology.

This latest development expands joint sales and technology training, go-to-market activities and services development.

Cisco will provide Airbus with its own networking, design and engineering expertise from Cisco services, along with networking kit and infrastructure.

Cisco will also give Airbus’s sales and engineering teams access to its own training programmes and certification processes, such as Cisco Sales Expert and Cisco Vertical Solutions Architect.

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Airbus and Cisco pool expertise

Airbus will become a Cisco Global Speciality Integrator, embedding Cisco’s technology into its own systems, as well as reselling selected networking technology and collaborating in the R&D process.

Airbus Defence and Space head of engineering, operations and quality of the communications, intelligence and security unit, Eric Souleres, hailed a “significant step forward for both companies”.

“By utilising both companies’ technology and expertise we will be able to develop and offer superior and ground-breaking products and solutions to our customers, and strengthen our respective strategies as system integrator and IT leader,” he said.

ESA Martian rover project launches in 2018

Wendy Mars, Cisco EMEAR vice-president of enterprise business, said: "Cisco and Airbus Defence and Space strongly believe the network is key in driving innovation and delivering business outcomes to our customers.”

“The diversity of our talent and technology will help enable both companies to better address existing opportunities and create transformational solutions that will deliver competitive advantage in the defense, cyber security and the satellite communication industries.”

Airbus Defence and Space was formed in January 2014 out of a combination of former EADS divisions Airbus Military, Astrium and Cassadian.

With sales of around €13bn per annum and 38,000 on its payroll, it is one of the largest defence and space technology businesses in the world. Airbus Defence and Space products include the Eurofighter Typhoon – flown by the RAF and the German Luftwaffe among others – and the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Ariane rockets.

It is also collaborating in developing a robotic Martian rover for the ESA, set for launch in 2018.

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