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Successful Second Launch Of Skynet 5 Satellite

The achievements of the Skynet 5 programme are underpinned by effective partnering between the MoD and industry.
by Staff Writers
Kourou, French Guiana (SPX) Nov 19, 2007
Astrium has achieved a second triple challenge with the successful launch of the second Skynet 5 satellite - Skynet 5B - on 14 November from Kourou, French Guiana. Francois Auque, CEO of Astrium, said: "Progressing from the success of Skynet 5A, this marks another major milestone for Astrium with our latest triple challenge - building the Skynet 5 satellites, placing them in orbit on-board Ariane 5, and delivering a new era in secure military communications to the UK Ministry of Defence, in the form of a unique service provision approach."

Malcolm Peto, Managing Director of Paradigm said: "This is the culmination of many years of co-operation between industry and the Ministry of Defence and will further enhance Paradigm's ability to deliver mission critical communications services to our deployed military customers, faster and better than ever. The best Armed Forces in the world deserve the best communications service. And that is what we provide with Skynet 5."

Paradigm, part of Astrium Services, as owner and operator of the Skynet 5 system, is responsible for delivering secure communications services as part of a service provision contract with the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) until 2020. Following the successful launch of Skynet 5A in March 2007 Paradigm is already providing secure services to the UK MoD.

Astrium Space Transportation is prime contractor for the Ariane 5 system, responsible for the delivery of fully integrated and tested launch vehicles to Arianespace.

Astrium Satellites is responsible for the Skynet 5 satellites and the complete communications system. Following launch, Skynet 5B, designed and built by Astrium Satellites, will now undergo a period of intensive in-orbit testing of both satellite and payload before moving to its operational position at 53E. Initial transfer of services will commence in the coming weeks.

Skynet 5B is the second of three satellites that will form a new constellation to meet the UK MoD's milsatcoms requirements - one of the three will be an in-orbit spare, to guard against satellite loss.

Following the successful launch at 22.06 GMT last night, Skynet 5B is currently in its low Earth orbit phase, which began with partial deployment of the solar panels. Skynet 5B will then reach its geostationary orbit, followed by the deployment of the UHF receivers and transmitters and a full testing programme will commence before the first operations begin. This process will take around a month to complete.

The achievements of the Skynet 5 programme are underpinned by effective partnering between the MoD and industry. Paradigm, Astrium Satellites, Serco, LogicaCMG, EADS DS and the MoD have worked together to make the project a success for all the stakeholders.

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US And Australia Share New Communications Satellites
Washington DC (SPX) Nov 16, 2007
Representatives from the U.S. Air Force and the Royal Australian Air Force met at the Australian Embassy here to sign a memorandum of agreement that will provide both nations assured access to the Wideband Global SATCOM system, expanding the WGS constellation to six satellites. The expansion will vastly improve communications for the military forces of both countries with unprecedented access to bandwidth-intensive applications such as video streaming, teleconferencing, real-time data transmission and high-resolution imaging.

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