12.01.2022 – 10:28
A good week after the arson attack on a building in Bremen, the space company OHB SE reaffirmed its role as a cosmopolitan, modern space company and clearly distanced itself from the charge of being an armaments company. OHB maintains customer relationships with government agencies, explained Sabine von der Recke, board member of OHB System AG, in an interview that was published in the digital magazine of the OHB website (www.ohb.de/magazin). One of the customers is the Federal Republic of Germany, for which the company develops satellite reconnaissance systems and telecommunications satellites.
Von der Recke also defended the longstanding business relationship with the Bundeswehr. “OHB emerged from a hydraulic company that was involved in the maintenance of naval ships, so the customer, the Bundeswehr, was there before we even started aerospace activities,” she explained. “The first major order for OHB in Bremen was the German radar reconnaissance system SARLupe, which is an essential instrument for the Bundeswehr to ensure operational readiness.” However, OHB felt it was “unfair and extremely inaccurate to be denounced as an enemy of freedom,” she said. “Our self-image is that of a cosmopolitan, modern space company that is based in Bremen in the style of an open campus.”
The days since New Year’s Eve had disturbed and upset all employees in the company, the workforce was considerably unsettled, and in some cases also frightened. Von der Recke emphasizes, however, that the great solidarity, the encouragement from customers and interlocutors from the Federal Government, the ESA and the European Commission and from politics helped enormously in the days after the attack. “We were also very happy to hear that this violent form of political confrontation is sharply condemned across parties and across all walks of life,” she said. “Violence can and must never be the solution to leading political disputes.” In such a situation it helps a lot “when you notice that you are not alone.”
“Freedom and security are only available as a package,” says the 40-year-old, who is responsible for political relations on the OHB board. Satellite technology from OHB ensures “an extensive sense of security” in many areas, such as Galileo navigation satellites, next-generation weather satellites and satellites for the European Earth observation program Copernicus, with which it will be possible for the first time to detect man-made CO2 in the atmosphere.
The company is not hiding behind high walls or trying to wash itself off, the board member emphasizes. “We have registered the accusation that OHB is supposed to maintain business relationships with the European border police, Frontex. That is wrong,” said von der Recke. “OHB does not have any business relationships with Frontex. And if it were, we would make it just as public as we normally do with other business relationships.” The OHB company is diverse and cosmopolitan. “We perceive the pleasure of debating and exchanging arguments as an essential aspect of creative work. We therefore hold a lot of conversations and discussions on political issues and of course there are also some critical employees in the workforce who would also prefer it, us would not do business with the Bundeswehr. We hold this discourse regularly and always find it enriching. ”
Head of corporate communications
Original content by: OHB SE, transmitted by news aktuell