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Skynet 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D, 4E, 4F

Skynet 4A [Astrium]

Skynet 4 was the third generation of UK Ministry of Defense communications satellites. They provided jam-proof communications service between fixed and mobile land and sea-based ground stations. The payload housed one four-channel SHF transponder and one two-channel UHF transponder. An EHF transponder was available for propagation experiments on Skynet 4A. Built by British Aerospace, the satellite measured 2.1 m by 1.4 m. Solar arrays spanning 16m provided 1,200 W of power.

Skynet 4D, E and F are improved versions, featuring an enhance communication payload.

Nation: UK
Type / Application: Military communication
Operator: MoD
Contractors: BAe → Matra Marconi → Astrium
Equipment: 4 SHF transponders (all), 2 UHF transponders (all), 2 C-band transponders (#D-F)
Configuration: ECS-Bus
Propulsion: Star-30E
Power: 2 deployable solar arrays, batteries
Lifetime: 6 years
Mass: 1250 kg (#A-C); 1500 kg (#D-F)
Orbit: GEO
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
Skynet 4A 1990-001A 01.01.1990 CC LC-40 Commercial-Titan-3 [PAM-D2] with JCSat 2
Skynet 4B 1988-109A 11.12.1988 Ko ELA-2 Ariane-44LP H10 with Astra 1A
Skynet 4C 1990-079A 30.08.1990 Ko ELA-2 Ariane-44LP H10 with Eutelsat-2 F1
Skynet 4D 1998-002A 10.01.1998 CC LC-17B Delta-7925
Skynet 4E 1999-009B 26.02.1999 Ko ELA-2 Ariane-44L H10-3 with Arabsat 3A
Skynet 4F 2001-005B 07.02.2001 Ko ELA-2 Ariane-44L H10-3 with SICRAL 1


  • Donald H. Martin: Communication Satellites, Aerospace Press, 1991, p 116-117

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