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Airbus wins UK Skynet 5 military satellite design support contract

27th October 2023 - 16:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team in London


Skynet 5 provides the UK defence forces with satellite communications. (Image: Airbus)

Airbus will provide post-design services for Skynet 5 as it nears the end of life and the UK heads towards the next generation Skynet 6A satellites.

Airbus has been awarded the Skynet Design Support Contract (SDSC) to provide design authority services support for the UK’s Skynet 5 military satellite communications systems.

The contract will provide post-design services to the MoD and its future service providers to support Skynet 5, which was procured under a Private Finance Initiative arrangement that began in 2003.

The company will also support transition towards an MoD-owned, contractor-operated system under Skynet 6. This includes Skynet 6A, which Airbus is currently developing.

Airbus was awarded the contract by the UK MoD to design and build Skynet 6A in July 2020 and the programme achieved its Preliminary Design Review in December that year.

The contract runs from March 2024 for five years and includes both the satellites and the infrastructure on the ground.

MoD director Delivery (Intelligence and Expeditionary Services) Steven Fisher said: ‘SDSC reflects our ongoing commitment to maintain the Skynet 5 system [and] is a vital first step in our programme to replace and replenish our space-based assets.’

The Shephard News Team


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