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Airbus D&S signs new Skynet partners

19th September 2016 - 13:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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Airbus Defence and Space (D&S) has added three more service providers to deliver Skynet military satellite communication services to Australian, New Zealand and US forces.

The company has signed on SpeedCast, Inmarsat Government and Hughes Network Systems to its channel partner programme for Skynet services. 

The Skynet service expanded in 2015 with the move of the Skynet 5A satellite from 6° East to 95° East to provide global X-band and UHF coverage in the Asia Pacific region. The network now offers global military coverage, expanding core service reach.

SpeedCast will offer the tactical secure communications services to the Australian and New Zealand government. Airbus D&S has also recently appointed SpeedCast to manage a new anchor station facility for the Skynet 5A military satellite, which is based at SpeedCast’s existing teleport in Adelaide, Australia.

Inmarsat Government will include Skynet services as part of their portfolio offer to US government customers. 

Hughes will use the partnership offering services for the US government involved in tactical missions, primarily using the XEBRA service, which is a solution using the Hughes HM300 lightweight X-band satellite terminal and Airbus D&S’ Skynet capacity. 

Richard Franklin, head of secure communications, Airbus D&S, said: ‘These new partnerships will enable Hughes, Inmarsat Government and Speedcast to offer Skynet services to their already strong existing customer base; the services will primarily be using the newly relocated Skynet 5A satellite and enable users to operate in both the US and Asia regions, and augment and compliment their existing services.’

The Skynet X-band satellite constellation consists of eight satellites and the ground network to provide all beyond line-of-sight communications to the UK Ministry of Defence. Airbus D&S’ contract also allows other NATO and allied governments such as members of the five-eyes community (besides UK, the USA, Australia, New Zealand and Canada) to use the Skynet system to augment their existing services.

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