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Skynet 5A, 5B, 5C, 5D

Skynet 5A [Astrium]

Skynet 5 is the programme to update the UK's military satellite communications capability for the British Ministry of Defence. The Skynet 5 system will provide the next generation of secure global military satellite communications system, initially through the transfer of ownership, operation and enhancement of the existing Skynet 4 infrastructure and then by incorporating new Skynet 5 satellites and associated ground segment from the middle of this decade. The programme will be delivered in the form of a service provision contract.

Under contract to Paradigm Secure Communications, selected in February 2002 as preferred bidder for the Skynet 5 secure global military satellite communications programme, Astrium is responsible for the replacement of the existing Skynet 4 ground and space assets (for which  the company is prime contractor) by a new, integrated Skynet 5 system. Astrium has supported the Skynet 5 programme from its outset, including various concept studies carried out over the past five years. The contract for two satellites was awarded in October 2003. In December 2005 Paradigm deceided not to insure the first two satellites, but to procure a third one as a spare, as well as a option to a fourth satellite.

Nation: UK
Type / Application: Military communication
Operator: Paradigm Secure Communications for MoD
Contractors: Astrium, Paradigm Secure Communications
Equipment: ?
Configuration: Eurostar-3000S
Propulsion: ?
Power: 2 deployable solar arrays, batteries
Lifetime: 15 years
Mass: 4700 kg (#5A); 4635 kg (#5B); 4638 kg (#5C)
Orbit: GEO
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
Skynet 5A 2007-007B 11.03.2007 Ko ELA-3 Ariane-5ECA with Insat 4B
Skynet 5B 2007-056B 14.11.2007 Ko ELA-3 Ariane-5ECA with Star One C1
Skynet 5C 2008-030A 12.06.2008 Ko ELA-3 Ariane-5ECA with Türksat 3A
Skynet 5D 2012-075A 19.12.2012 Ko ELA-3 Ariane-5ECA with MEXSAT 3