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SKYNET 6A satellite passes Critical Design Review

By Eric Van Rees - 14th July 2022 - 08:06

Airbus has achieved a key milestone with the successful completion of the Critical Design Review (CDR) of the UK Ministry of Defence’s (MOD) next secure military communications satellite, SKYNET 6A.

Airbus has achieved a key milestone with the successful completion of the Critical Design Review (CDR) of the UK Ministry of Defence’s (MOD) next secure military communications satellite, SKYNET 6A.

Richard Franklin, Managing Director of Airbus Defence and Space UK said: “Achieving this crucial milestone is tangible proof that in partnership with Defence Digital in the Ministry of Defence we are firmly on track and making great progress on this flagship programme. We now have more than 400 people working on the project at our key sites in Stevenage, Portsmouth and Hawthorn. We are building SKYNET 6A with its unique military communications payload entirely in the UK and we currently have more than 45 small to medium sized enterprises and subcontractors helping to make sure we remain on target for launch in 2025.”

Airbus was awarded the SKYNET 6A contract in July 2020 to supplement the existing SKYNET 5 fleet of four satellites and enhance the UK’s milsatcom capability. The SKYNET 6A CDR has been achieved on time, working closely with the Defence Digital team. The next major milestone will be the delivery of the Communications Structure by the end of 2022.

The SKYNET 6A contract covers the design, development, manufacture, assembly, integration, test and launch, of the military communications satellite, and includes key national technology development programmes.

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