International defence company Babcock have announced they have been awarded the contract to manage and operate Skynet, the UK Ministry of Defence’s (MOD) military satellite communications system.
The six-year contract, with an initial value of more than UK£400 million, forms part of the MOD’s £6 billion Skynet 6 programme, which will sustain more than 400 jobs in the South West part of the UK.
Skynet Service Delivery Wrap (SDW) will encompass the UK’s constellation of military satellites and ground stations, which includes the integration of terminals into the MOD network to ensure they are properly integrated and supported.
Babcock will partner with SES, GovSat and IntelSat on Skynet SDW.
“We are delighted to have been chosen to support this world-leading technological safeguard. Skynet enables vital communications to the UK Armed Forces wherever they are, helping to keep them safe,” said David Lockwood, CEO for Babcock. “Babcock is a world leader in secure communications for the military. Together with our partners, we will provide a high-tech solution which combines the availability, affordability and capability that the UK needs.”
“Space is increasingly important for maintaining battlefield advantage,” added Alex Chalk, Defence Procurement Minister. “The UK’s next generation military satellite communications system will keep us at the forefront of this critical domain and the work under this contract will bolster our resilience for years to come.”
Skynet has been in service since the 1960s, and the first satellite of the sixth Skynet generation satellite, Skynet 6A, due to be launched in 2025. The contract includes the services necessary to support the current Skynet infrastructure as well as the successful transition and continuous delivery of service for future operations.
Babcock has said it will be bringing its stability, knowledge and pedigree of a service provider to utilise the best solutions the industry has to offer.