British defence company Babcock have won a £400 million contract to manage Skynet, the UK Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) military satellite communications system.
Babcock will manage the MoD’s constellation as a consortium along with partners: SES, GovSat and Intelsat, the company announced on 15 February. The group of companies, led by Babcock, will be responsible for operating and managing the MoD’s military satellites, ground stations and for the integration of new user terminals. Babcock and its partners, CEO David Lockwood said, would combine “the availability, affordability and capability that the UK needs” to manage Skynet, its “technological safeguard”.
The lucrative Skynet Service Delivery Wrap (SDW) contract spans six years and is part of the Skynet 6 programme, the UK’s broader space communications plans, which it is investing £6 billion into. The programme will see the creation of new ground and user terminal services, enabling modern communications around the world for the UK military. It also includes the launch of the Skynet 6A satellite that Airbus Defence, one of the groups Babcock competed against for the latest contract, is building.