Inmarsat selects SWISSto12’s HummingSat for I-8 Satellites to power L-band network

Niederer Kraft Frey advised SWISSto12 in its landmark deal with Inmarsat to build its new generation of spacecraft.

Inmarsat, a world leader in global, mobile satellite communications, has announced that SWISSto12, one of Europe’s fastest growing aerospace providers, will develop its new eighth-generation of spacecraft. The three I-8 satellites will provide additional network resilience, securing the future of Inmarsat’s global L-band safety services.

SWISSto12 will use its ground-breaking HummingSat satellite platform – in conjunction with unique 3D-printing technologies and specialised radio-frequency and payload products – to develop and manufacture the geostationary satellites, which will launch by 2026.

Just 1.5 cubic metres in volume, the I-8’s will use SWISSto12’s innovative new class of spacecraft, which has a form factor up to five times smaller than conventional geostationary satellites yet can still deliver critical safety services with certainty.

The three l-8 satellites will continue to provide the extra layer of resilience to complement the existing constellation and Inmarsat’s two I-6 generation satellites, which were launched in December 2021 and February 2023. Each I-8 will also extend Inmarsat’s history of launching and operating radio-navigation transponders for governments and international space agencies. The I-8 satellites will continue to secure Inmarsat’s global safety services into the 2040’s. The company was founded in 1979 under the auspices of the United Nations specifically to provide highly reliable safety communications. Today some 1.6 million seafarers and over 200 airlines rely on Inmarsat’s global L-band network to deliver 99.9 per cent availability every day.

The NKF team was led by Corporate/M&A and Technology partner Jacques Bonvin.