Top 10 Satellite Manufacturers in the Global Space Industry 2018

satellite manufacturers

In the past couple of years, faster satellite manufacturing processes have been a topic of discussion. With US government and satellite operators alike recently expressing their requirement for satellites to be designed and produced faster, the weight on manufacturers escalates further. We are listing the top 10 satellite manufacturers in the world. These are expected to play a crucial role in the global satellite manufacturing and launch market size and share through 2018 – 2022.

As per Technavio’s latest industry research report on this topic, the global satellite manufacturing and launch market was worth nearly US$ 25 billion by 2022. The declining cost of satellite launch systems is a crucial factor driving the satellite manufacturing and launch market growth.

For more information about the global satellite market size, top satellite companies and satellite manufacturers, or the latest trends in this market, please check Technavio’s Global Satellite Manufacturing and Launch Market Report 2018-2022, or download your FREE Global Satellite Market Report Sample now!

Top 10 Satellite Manufacturers in the Global Space Industry 2018


As one of the three divisions of the Airbus Group, Airbus Defense and Space is Europe’s No.1 defense and space company. Globally, it ranks second for space and is among the top ten defense companies. The company is headquartered in Toulouse, France and was founded on December 1970. In 2017, the company earned a net revenue of € 67 billion.

As of June 2017, an industrial joint venture between OneWeb and Airbus Defense and Space called OneWeb Satellites will turn vision into reality by forming an assembly line in Toulouse that will build OneWeb’s first communications satellites. The vision is to place a constellation of 900 satellites in space, transforming the Earth into a planet-sized internet network, and making the company one of the world’s largest satellite manufacturers.

Find out Airbus’ market share in the global satellite market


Speaking of the satellite manufacturers in the world, Boeing is a definite pack-leader. The company is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, United States, and was founded on 15th July 1916. The company employs 140,000 people and at the end of the fiscal year 2017-18, the company recorded a net revenue of US$ 93 billion.

Boeing delivered four commercial and military satellites and build seven satellites for SES. Some of its commercial satellite industry and certain government satellite contracts comprises of in-orbit incentive payments. An in-orbit payment is made over time after final satellite acceptance or paid in full before the final satellite is accepted.

Lockheed Martin

Lockheed Martin is one of the world’s premier satellite manufacturers which develops space-based solutions with the help of an alliance between national security and military, civil government and commercial customers. From satellite production developments to business model innovations, Lockheed Martin is advancing towards the nexus of satellite affordability, capability and resiliency for all its customers. It is headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, United States. The company earned a revenue of US$ 51 billion in 2017 and consists of nearly 100,000 employees.

Lockheed Martin began constructing their Gateway Center which is the most advanced satellite production facility in the company’s history. At present the company is focused on the Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) system, the next generation of highly secure communications satellites build specifically for the U.S. Air Force.

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Orbital ATK

Orbital ATK is a merger between Orbital Sciences Corporation and parts of Alliant Techsystems and was purchased by Northrop Grumman in 2018. Orbital ATK designs, builds and delivers space, defense and aviation-related systems to customers around the globe both as a prime contractor and as a merchant supplier. Launch vehicles and related propulsion systems; satellites and associated components and services; composite aerospace structures; tactical missiles, subsystems and defense electronics; and precision weapons, armament systems and ammunition are its main products.

As one of the world’s leading satellite manufacturers, Orbital ATK is developing a new type of satellite life extension vehicle which is projected to provide more flexibility. Plans to develop the Mission Robotic Vehicle and Mission Extension Pods are also in motion. The company currently offers the Mission Extension Vehicle which ties up with a satellite and takes over maneuvering of that satellite, that includes station keeping as well as relocation and disposal into graveyard orbits.

Thales Alenia Space

Thales Alenia Space is a joint venture between the Thales Group and Leonardo. It is one of the world’s leading satellite manufacturers for telecommunications satellites, satellite platforms and payloads. In 2017, the company recorded revenues worth € 2.6 billion and has 7,980 employees across nine countries.

In 2018, the company signed a contract with the European Space Agency (ESA) to deliver operations, maintenance and upgrade services for the Payload Data Ground Segment (PDGS) supporting the Sentinel 2A and 2B Earth observation satellites. The company achieves major success in delivering its IMU Flight Models to Airbus Defence and Space in UK to combine with the ExoMars Rover.

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SpaceX is one of the world’s fastest growing designers for spacecrafts and advance satellite manufacturers. Being the only private company capable of returning a spacecraft from low Earth orbit. In 2017, the company was successful in achieving the first refight of an orbital class rocket. The company is headquartered in Hawthorne, California and was founded in 2002.

In 2018, the Falcon Heavy became the world’s most powerful operational rocket by a factor of two and can carry heavy payloads to orbit and support missions as far as the Moon or Mars. The company is advancing towards the next generation of fully reusable launch vehicles that will be the most powerful ever built. It will able to carry humans to Mars and other destinations in the solar system.


SSL is the leading provider of integrated space technologies, delivering advanced systems for communications, exploration, data gathering, and next-generation services. It also provides geostationary commercial satellites, with experience building and integrating some of the world’s most powerful and complex satellites and spacecraft systems. The company is headquartered in Palo Alto, California.

SSL’s spacecraft platforms include the SSL 1300, SSL 100, and SSL 500. The SSL 1300 is the most popular spacecraft platform capable of providing solar electric propulsion (SEP) and has been used to establish next-generation technologies including Q/V-band, photonics and a payload orbital delivery system (PODS) that brings small free-flying spacecraft to GEO.  The SSL 100 and SSL 500 are small platforms for LEO and GEO which provides communications, earth observation, and flexible SmallSat platform.

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Mitsubishi Electric Corporation

Since 1960, the Mitsubishi Electric has been a forerunner of the space technology development in Japan and is and is dedicated to international space development and satellite construction. Its Space Division has contributed in a wide range of high-performance payloads and bus components in multiple satellite programs globally. It is headquartered in Chiyoda, Tokyo, Japan. The company earned a revenue of US$ 39 billion in 2017 and consists of nearly 142,340 employees.

Mitsubishi developed the DS2000, which is the first-ever Japanese-made standard satellite platform. The company also manufacturers BUS equipment and RF equipment. It also consists of various satellite programs that includes communication, observation, engineering test, science, positioning, and international space station.

Ball Aerospace

Ball Aerospace was founded as a subsidiary of Ball Corporation. It manufacturers spacecraft, components, and instruments for national defense, civil space and commercial space applications. Its Ball Configurable Platform designs cost-effective spacecraft for remote sensing applications. The Ball Configurable Platform contains a wide range of payloads, including optical applications with sub-meter resolutions and synthetic aperture radar.

Ball Aerospace includes the BCP100, which is a small satellite that offers rapid response to meet mission requirements. The BCP300 is perfect for small operational and technology demonstration missions. The BCP 2000, offers a quick re-targeting and greater agility for Earth remote-sensing payloads. Lastly, the BCP 5000 provides increased power, stability, agility, and data storage and transmission; it also can reorient a satellite over a preferred collection area in 4-5 seconds, compared to the typical 30-45 second timeframe.

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Indian Space Research Organization

The Indian Space Research Organization has one of the largest fleets of communication satellites (INSAT) and remote sensing (IRS) satellites, that cater to the ever-growing demand for fast and reliable communication and earth observation respectively. It is headquartered in Bangalore, Karnataka, India. Some of its notable launchers includes the PSLV or Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle which was developed to launch Low Earth Orbit satellites into Polar and Sun Synchronous Orbits. The GSLV or Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle is another launcher which was established to launch the heavier INSAT class of Geosynchronous satellites into orbit.


Check this market report for more information about the leading satellite manufacturers in different countries: