A fourth Skynet satellite, 5D, will enhance the milsatcoms service provision capability to UK MoD and Allied Forces until at least 2022.
Paradigm, a wholly owned subsidiary of Airbus Defence and Space, has signed a contract with the UK MoD to extend and enhance the Skynet 5 secure satellite communications programme. This will involve the manufacture, launch, test and operation of a fourth satellite, Skynet 5D, and the extension of the Skynet 5 contract by two years until 2022.
Since 2003, the groundbreaking Skynet 5 programme, managed by Paradigm, has provided UK MoD with a suite of highly robust, reliable and secure military communications services, supporting operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Balkans. The programme commenced by using the legacy Skynet 4 satellites and then augmenting them with a fully refurbished ground network before launching the Skynet 5A, 5B, and 5C satellites between 2007 and 2008.
The introduction of additional milsatcom capacity to the Skynet 5 fleet also means that Paradigm will continue to have the ability to address the needs of a growing international milsatcom market.