• Hatch Team

Black Arrow “Return To Flight”

On the 50th Anniversary of the first successful British rocket launch, the Black Arrow name is reinvigorated as Black Arrow Space Technologies starts up in business.

Black Arrow Space Technologies is a new British company developing spaceflight technologies designed to launch satellites into orbit. Black Arrow unique offer is their seaborne launch system – commercial rockets launched from their own Space Ship! This will enable Britain to offer a global service unavailable elsewhere in the world, bypassing many of the issues faced by land launches. Initially, the company aims to launch payloads of up to 500Kg into Polar Low Earth Orbit or 300Kg into Sun Synchronous Orbit. This will support a growing niche in the space market, currently under-served by the international ‘access to space’ sector. In time, the concept will be developed to enable much larger payloads to be launched to higher altitudes and more trajectories.

Black Arrow Space Technologies has negotiated an agreement with a major investor to fully fund the company development activities, up to the completion of the test launch phase of the project, which is anticipated to take between two and three years.

Design and development work will take place in the Oxfordshire area, with engine test stands and the ship fleet, including the launch vessel and support ships, based in South Wales. It is anticipated that around 300 high-skilled jobs will be created by the time that commercial launches begin. Initial launches are planned to take place from the Atlantic Ocean, South West of Ireland.

The initial variant of the rocket will allow Black Arrow to explore and develop specialist technologies, components and procedures for use on subsequent commercial vehicles.

Black Arrow will attract innovative technologies from external sources to complement their internal composite parts and help them to deliver the service quickly. The seaborne spaceport will use existing vessels, suitably modified for specialist use, reducing costs further.

CEO Paul Williams said:
“I am very pleased to welcome our major investor to this exciting programme, helping us to develop our products and build a World-class satellite launch service. We will involve all regions of the country in our planned developments, encouraging new talent and initiating a new space awareness for all.” “By adopting the latest technologies, we aim to be the cleanest and most cost-effective satellite launch service, from seabed to space. We will offer a highly responsive ride to orbit for deployment of Earth Observation assets, and a flexible option for telecommunications, navigation and data resources.” “Our mobility of operation will appeal to many friendly countries around the World where such activities hold great attraction. As a UK-registered international business, we will showcase Great British innovation to the World, adding value and benefit to people of all nations.”


1. Black Arrow’s CEO is Paul Williams, an experienced space engineer and technologist who has worked in the industry for more than 35 years, on projects including Vega, ATV and Galileo.

2. Paul can be contacted for further information on +44 7733 116562, email

3. For further information contact Bill Leach on +44 7770 235441, email

4. A CGI Video of the sea launch can be seen here - For a high-resolution copy of the video, please contact Bill Leach.

5. For other CGI images please contact Bill Leach.

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The HATCH project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 776357.

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