Northrop Grumman picked Mynaric, a laser communications equipment maker, as a strategic supplier on November 1. The cooperation with Northrop Grumman, a prominent Pentagon contractor, is noteworthy for Mynaric, a German company that has been making inroads in the US market, notably in the defence and government sectors.
In a statement, Mynaric Chief Executive Officer Bulent Altan said, “The US government is driving the deployment of laser communication capabilities in space.” Northrop Grumman will have “guaranteed and preferred access” to Mynaric services and products, according to the company, which predicts Northrop Grumman will spend $35 million on equipment over the next five years.
In a competitive bidding process, Northrop Grumman chose Mynaric. Mynaric said it filed proposals for a variety of the Northrop Grumman government space programs “with a total value in the mid-double-digit millions.” Northrop Grumman will “kick-start the new collaboration” by acquiring CONDOR Mk3 optical communications terminal for satellites with data rates ranging from 100 megabits per second – 100 gigabits per second, according to Mynaric.
According to the company, Northrop Grumman and Mynaric will collaborate to develop and provide laser communication technologies for US government space missions. “For this market niche, Mynaric will solely manufacture and sell unique products to Northrop Grumman.”
As demand for secure space-centred communications develops, Robert Fleming, vice president of strategic and commercial development at the Northrop Grumman Space Systems, stated laser communication is “becoming a strategic must-possess for a broad range of government operations.”
Mynaric develops laser communications terminals for maritime, air, space, ground and undersea platforms, but the business’s “near-term focus is on the space arena for the demands and missions of the United States government,” according to the company.
Mynaric has been increasing its footprint in the United States over the last year, with offices in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. Mynaric already has a foot in the door in the US military industry, since Telesat chose its optical terminals for satellites which will be flown as portion of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Blackjack program.
The company constructed a new manufacturing plant near Munich, Germany, this summer to focus on laser communication technology for the aerospace industry. Mynaric is a publicly-traded corporation in Germany, and it filed a registration statement with Securities and Exchange Commission for a prospective initial public offering in the United States. Hans Koenigsmann, a former SpaceX executive, was recently appointed to Mynaric’s supervisory board, which is the company’s comparable of the board of directors.