£500m Military Communications Satellite Contract Confirmed

SKYNET 6A is a satellite designed to provide British military personnel with communications during deployments.


A £500 million contract for a new military communications satellite has been confirmed by the Defence Secretary.

Airbus Defence and Space will build SKYNET 6A, a satellite designed to provide British military personnel with communications during deployments.

It will replace the predecessor system, the SKYNET 5 constellation, including a higher radio frequency range.

Speaking about the contract, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: "To safeguard our military on operations around the world we need to ensure that we protect their communications on land, sea or in air.

"The newest contested frontier is space and so we need to provide resilience and better communications for our forces.

"SKYNET 6A is one of many solutions we shall be investing in over the next decade.

"This Government recognises the urgent need to defend and promote space capabilities."

The new satellite will be controlled from the UK’s existing ground stations, with the Ministry of Defence hoping it will be in use until the 2040s.

Cover Image: MOD.