Airbus to Build Communications Satellite for British Military

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  • 08:48 AM, July 20, 2020
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Airbus to Build Communications Satellite for British Military
Launching of Skynet 5D satellite (image via U.K. MoD)

The U.K. Ministry of Defence has contracted Airbus Defence and Space to build a new military communications satellite for £500 million.

“The SKYNET 6A will soar among the stars, guaranteeing our Armed Forces fast, secure and reliable communications from thousands of miles above, wherever they are deployed. The £500 million boost is the latest investment in the technological safeguards that help our Armed Forces deter threats from anywhere in the world, including Russia and China,” the MoD said in a release Sunday.

The SKYNET 6A will be controlled from the United Kingdom’s existing ground stations. It is expected to provide secure communications until 2040 and beyond.

Airbus to Build Communications Satellite for British Military

The satellite will use higher radio frequency spectrum and latest digital technology to provide better capacity and speed than its predecessor system, the SKYNET 5 constellation. The satellite will use the new Airbus Eurostar Neo telecommunications satellite platform coupled with electric orbit raising propulsion and station keeping systems.

The contract covers all aspects of the satellite’s development: design, manufacture, assembly stages, integration, testing and finally the launch.

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