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New satellite will support UK military operations

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  1. Metallic

    Metallic SENIOR MEMBER

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    New satellite will support UK military operations
    UNITED KINGDOM - 11 MARCH 2010

    Communications on the UK's military operations are to be boosted thanks to a £400m contract for the use of a new satellite, the Minister for Defence Equipment and Support has announced this week.

    The Skynet 5D is the fourth of its kind to be used by the MOD. The advanced satellite will be launched in 2013 and play a key role in gathering intelligence on operations.

    This satellite will also be used to provide the telephone and internet welfare support facilities for Service personnel on operations.

    Minister for Defence Equipment and Support, Quentin Davies, said:

    "Future operations require that our Armed Forces are given access to the best possible communications and this new satellite will go a long way to ensuring this.

    "This value for money package not only builds upon a tried and tested capability for the Armed Forces, but also secures hundreds of jobs in a very important field of technology."

    The building of Skynet 5D will directly create around 100 new jobs, mainly at EADS Astrium's sites in Portsmouth and Stevenage.

    It will also sustain approximately 800 jobs at these sites and in Corsham, Wiltshire, at Paradigm's Hawthorn site.

    Lord Drayson, Minister for Science and Innovation, said:

    "The UK's thriving space and satellite industry has been a real recession-buster - creating jobs and achieving exceptional growth.

    "This latest success cements the UK's position as a world leader in satellite technology, with the sector forecast to be worth £40bn to the UK by the year 2030."

    Darrell Midgley, MOD Defence Equipment and Support's Information Systems and Services Networks Head, said:

    "The demand for satellite communications is growing faster than originally predicted.

    "To ensure that future operations will continue to have access to the vital communications they may need, the MOD has decided that it would be prudent to make arrangements to take advantage of the services that a fourth satellite in the Paradigm's Skynet constellation would provide."

    Under the Private Finance Initiative deal, the MOD is buying satellite services, not the satellites. The overall programme is now worth about £3.5bn over its planned duration, which will be at least until 2022.


    Source: UK Ministry of Defence