Airbus awarded MoD contract to provide design authority support for UK’s critical SKYNET military satellite communications system.
Press Release, Stevenage, 27 October 2023: Airbus has been awarded the Skynet Design Support Contract (SDSC) to provide design authority services support for the UK’s SKYNET military satellite communications systems.
The contract will provide post-design services to the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and its future service providers to support the transition from SKYNET 5, which was procured under a PFI arrangement that began in 2003, towards an MoD-owned, contractor-operated system under SKYNET 6. This includes SKYNET 6A, which Airbus is currently developing.
Steven Fisher, the MoD’s Director Delivery (Intelligence and Expeditionary Services), said: “SDSC reflects our ongoing commitment to maintain the SKYNET 5 system that forms the backbone of UK military satellite communications.
“It also recognises Airbus as the design authority for SKYNET 5, alongside being a key strategic supplier of UK sovereign space capability in the form of SKYNET 6A, which is a vital first step in our programme to replace and replenish our space-based assets.”
Richard Budd, Head of Secure Communications UK, US and Australia, Airbus Defence and Space, said: “The scope of SDSC – which runs from March 2024 for five years – includes both the satellites and the infrastructure on the ground.
“The contract supports the retention of specialist space and ground-segment roles and confirms Airbus’ ongoing involvement in the SKYNET programme, including the production of the SKYNET 6A satellite in our world-leading Stevenage and Portsmouth facilities.”