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Coordinates: 53°06′01″N 8°51′25″E / 53.10028°N 8.85694°E / 53.10028; 8.85694
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Company typeSocietas Europaea
ISINDE0005936124 Edit this on Wikidata
IndustryAerospace technology
HeadquartersBremen, Germany
Key people
RevenueEUR 945 million[1] (2022)
Number of employees
3,025 [1] (2022)
Main building in Bremen

OHB SE, headquartered in Bremen, is a European space and technology group specializing in the development and implementation of complete space systems, the production of components for various launcher programs as well as the operation of satellite systems and the processing and provision of the data collected. The company employs over 3,000 people at 15 locations in ten countries, most of them in Europe.

The majority owner is the family around the founders Christa and Manfred Fuchs.

Corporate history


In 1981, Christa Fuchs took over Otto Hydraulik Bremen GmbH. Founded in 1958, the Hemelingen-based company had five employees at the time and was engaged in the construction and repair of electrical and hydraulic ship systems for the German Federal Armed Forces. Together with MBB-ERNO as project leader and the Sarstedt shipyard, OHB won the contract for the construction of the MPOSS (Multi-Purpose Oil Skimming System) lead ship in 1984. Manfred Fuchs, then director of space flight at MBB-ERNO, had the idea of entering the space industry with OHB as well. In 1985, he therefore moved to his wife's company. Among the first space contracts was the Mikroba project (microgravity with balloon), a project sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the DFVLR (now the German Aerospace Center), which involved experiments in free fall. Furthermore, OHB developed a space-qualified centrifuge for the Spacelab space laboratory for testing blood and urine samples.

As the number of employees grew, the premises at Hemelinger Hafendamm became too small. OHB built a new headquarters near the University of Bremen, which was opened in October 1988. Manfred Fuchs' vision was to develop smaller and thus less expensive satellites; this was also one reason for renaming the company Orbital- und Hydrotechnologie Bremen-System GmbH in 1991. Together with the Center of Applied Space Technology and Microgravity (ZARM) at the University of Bremen, OHB developed BremSat, one of the first German small satellites. It was launched into space on board the Discovery on February 3, 1994. A further milestone was the SAFIR (Satellite for Information Relay) satellite series for position determination and object tracking, which also marked OHB's entry into the telecommunications market. As early as 1993, OHB Teledata GmbH was established for this purpose, specializing in telematics systems. In the same year, OHB built the COLUMBUS integration hall on its premises for the construction and integration of the satellites. With the acquisition of further major projects such as ABRIXAS and the growing number of employees, the company's headquarters soon became too small. Directly adjacent to the existing buildings, the new headquarters at Universitätsallee 29 were inaugurated in 1995. In 2001, a further building was constructed in what was then Karl-Ferdinand-Braun-Straße (now Manfred-Fuchs-Platz) together with a modern clean room hall.

OHB subsequently took the lead in the development of the major SAR-Lupe project, a satellite reconnaissance system on behalf of the Bundeswehr. In addition, the company was selected as a supplier for the International Space Station (ISS) and for the European Columbus station module. Meanwhile, OHB System AG and OHB Teledata AG, which had been listed on the stock exchange since the previous year, were merged to form OHB Technology AG in 2002.[2] Over the next few years, further acquisitions and the establishment of various subsidiaries followed. Among other things, OHB acquired the MAN subsidiary MAN Technologie AG (now MT Aerospace) in 2005.[3] In 2008, an attempt to acquire the three German Airbus plants in Nordenham, Varel and Augsburg failed. According to a report in Manager Magazin, the plan was to create a new listed aviation Group. Under the leadership of OHB, a company with 6,700 employees and sales of around one billion euros was to be created.[4] In 2009, OHB acquired the Italian aerospace company Carlo Gavazzi Space (founded in 1981, now OHB Italia).[5]

In January 2010, the company was awarded a contract for the construction of 14 satellites for the Galileo navigation system. The contract was worth EUR 566 million.[6][7] A year later, Berry Smutny, the CEO of OHB-System AG, was dismissed after WikiLeaks published details of a conversation Smutny had with American embassy officials. Smutny reportedly called Galileo a "stupid idea" that wasted European taxpayers' money.[8] Later in the year, the company acquired Thales Alenia Space Antwerp, which has since operated as Antwerp Space.[9] At the beginning of 2011, the previous five business segments were combined to form the two segments Space Systems and Aerospace + Industrial Products. In May of this year, the annual general meeting resolved to rename OHB Technology AG into OHB AG.[10] In addition, OHB acquired the "Space Systems Division" of Swedish Space Corporation in the same year, which was renamed OHB Sweden in the process.[11]

In addition, the company developed the modular SmallGEO satellite platform, which serves as the basis for further major projects such as the H36W-1 communications satellite of the Spanish operator Hispasat and the third generation of Meteosat weather satellites. In 2013, the company was awarded a prime contract to develop and deliver a successor to the SAR-Lupe satellite reconnaissance system.

At the beginning of September 2014, the two largest subsidiaries, Bremen-based OHB System AG and Munich-based Kayser-Threde GmbH, merged to form OHB System AG with facilities in Bremen and Munich.[12] This was followed in December 2015 by the relocation of the Munich site to a new building in Oberpfaffenhofen.[13] OHB has been registered as a European Company (Societas Europaea) in the commercial register since March 2015.[14]

With its investment in Rocket Factory Augsburg AG, the company has been participating in the development of a small launch vehicle (microlauncher) since 2018.[15]

In 2020, the restructuring of the business segments was announced. All service activities arising from space technologies and data have since been combined in the third segment DIGITAL.

Business segments

Activities and companies of the three business segments

Space Systems


This segment focuses on the development and production of near-Earth and geostationary satellites for navigation, science, communications, Earth and weather observation and reconnaissance, including scientific payloads. In the exploration area, concepts are developed for the exploration of our solar system. In astronautical space flight, the focus lies on equipping and operating the International Space Station (ISS) and the future lunar station Gateway.



The segment focuses on the production and development of products such as large load-bearing, weight-optimized structures, booster housings as well as cryogenic and satellite tanks for the aerospace industry. Among other things, OHB is the largest German supplier for the Ariane program[16] as well as an established manufacturer of components for satellite platforms, launch vehicles and aircraft such as SmallGEO, NASA's Space Launch System and the civil aircraft division of Airbus.

The participation Rocket Factory Augsburg AG is currently developing its own small launch vehicle (microlauncher) as a system supplier.



This segment brings together all services and solutions associated with space systems and their utilization. These include satellite operations, ground systems, antennas, optical and radio telescopes, and applications for transportation and mobility.

Other important components in this segment are downstream applications, i.e. the development and sale of software products for the use of space-based data from the areas of Earth observation, ship tracking (AIS) and navigation, infrastructure services for Deutsche Bahn's rail network, and IT services.



The company has been working on numerous German, European and international projects related to small satellites, crewed space flight as well as security and reconnaissance technologies.

Further reading

  • Rietz, Frank-Erhardt (2006). Danela Sell (ed.). 25 Jahre OHB : eine Zeitreise (in German). Bremen: OHB. ISBN 978-3-000-20410-4.
  • Sell, Danela; Thaeter, Joachim (2018). Marco Fuchs (ed.). Ein Pionier der Raumfahrt: Manfred Fuchs - Die Biografie (in German). Bremen: Schünemann, Carl Verlag. ISBN 978-3-960-47038-0.


  1. ^ a b "Annual Report 2022" (PDF). Retrieved 6 September 2023.
  2. ^ "9-Month Report 2002" (PDF). Retrieved 2023-09-06.
  3. ^ "OHB - Formale Übernahme der MT Aerospace". FinanzNachrichten.de (in German). Retrieved 2023-09-06.
  4. ^ "Börsenpläne für Airbus-Werke". Manager Magazin (in German). Retrieved 2023-09-06.
  5. ^ Horntrich, Markus. "OHB Technology kauft Carlo Gavazzi Space". www.deraktionaer.de (in German). Retrieved 2023-09-06.
  6. ^ a b "Contracts for Galileo sat-nav". 2010-01-07. Retrieved 2023-09-06.
  7. ^ "OHB and SSTL selected for the construction of 14 Galileo navigation satellites. - OHB System ENG". www.ohb-system.de. Retrieved 2023-09-06.
  8. ^ "22.10.2009: OHB-SYSTEM CEO CALLS GALILEO A WASTE OF GERMAN TAX PAYER MONEY". www.aftenposten.no (in Norwegian Bokmål). 2011-01-13. Retrieved 2023-09-06.
  9. ^ "Nine-Month Report 2010" (PDF). Retrieved 2023-09-06.
  10. ^ "Six-month report 2011" (PDF). Retrieved 2023-09-06.
  11. ^ Selding, Peter B. de (2011-06-24). "OHB Purchases SSC's Space Systems Division". SpaceNews. Retrieved 2023-09-06.
  12. ^ "Merger of OHB System AG and Erwin Kayser-Threde GmbH now completed - OHB System ENG". www.ohb-system.de. Retrieved 2023-09-06.
  13. ^ "Annual Report 2015" (PDF). Retrieved 2023-09-06.
  14. ^ "OHB AG converted into OHB SE". OHB SE. Retrieved 2023-09-06.
  15. ^ "ABOUT". Rocket Factory Augsburg. Retrieved 2023-09-06.
  16. ^ "DLR - Raumfahrtagentur - Ariane 5 - Europas Zugang zum All". www.dlr.de (in German). Retrieved 2023-09-06.
  17. ^ Dunmore, Charlie (1 February 2012). "UPDATE 1-OHB beats EADS to Galileo satellite contract -sources". Reuters.
  18. ^ de Selding, Peter B. (2015-03-19). "Competition To Build OneWeb Constellation Draws 2 U.S., 3 European Companies". Space News. Retrieved 20 March 2015.
  19. ^ Messier, Doug (2014-11-11). "WorldVu Satellites Issues RFP for 640 Satellites". Parabolic Arc. Retrieved 20 March 2015.
  20. ^ Flyeye: the bug-eyed telescope monitoring our skies on YouTube
  21. ^ "Flyeye Telescope". ESA. European Space Agency. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  22. ^ Cibin, L; Chiarini, M; Bernardi, F; Ragazzoni, R; Salinari, P (2016). "NEOSTEL: the telescope detail design program for the ESA optical ground network dedicated to NEO discovery and tracking". Memorie della Societa Astronomica Italiana. 87: 197. Bibcode:2016MmSAI..87..197C.
  23. ^ "Optical and testing elements for the NEOSTEL telescope" (PDF). TOPTEC Research Centre for Special Optics and Optoelectronic Systems. Institute of Plasma Physics of the Czech Academy of Sciences. Retrieved 11 December 2018.
  24. ^ "Institut Laue-Langevin (ILL) and ESRF collaborate on space technologies". scitecheuropa.eu. 8 August 2018. Retrieved 16 August 2018.
  25. ^ "OHB annual report 2018" (PDF). 31 December 2018. Retrieved 23 March 2021.
  26. ^ "OHB: Konzentration führt zu Wachstum". OHB SE (in German). Retrieved 2021-03-23.
  27. ^ "Giant Magellan Telescope signs contract for telescope structure | Giant Magellan Telescope". 30 October 2019. Retrieved 2020-01-05.

53°06′01″N 8°51′25″E / 53.10028°N 8.85694°E / 53.10028; 8.85694