Airbus in Stevenage to build Skynet telecoms satellite in £500m contract

Airbus Defence and Space has signed a contract with the Ministry of Defence to build Skynet 6A. Pict

Airbus Defence and Space has signed a contract with the Ministry of Defence to build Skynet 6A. Picture: Courtesy of Airbus Defence and Space - Credit: Archant

Airbus Defence and Space has signed a contract with the Ministry of Defence – worth more than £500 million – to develop and manufacture a new military communications satellite.

The Skynet 6A satellite – part of a family of military communications satellites – will be built on the Airbus site in Stevenage and launched in 2025.

The contract also includes work to the current Skynet 5 system, including in-orbit testing.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: “A new, more advanced satellite capability will provide continued communications support to the UK deployed forces for many years. Investment in first class equipment like this new satellite will keep us safe from the threats we face both now and in the future.”

Richard Franklin, Airbus UK managing director, said: “Airbus is fully committed to delivering world-class military communications services to our armed forces.”