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Airbus’ Golden Jubilee for Skynet Secure Satellite Communications

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The second and final Skynet II satellite tv for pc is unpacked at Cape Canaveral for launch processing three October 1974. It was efficiently launched 22 November 1974. (USAF photograph)

Airbus is celebrating 50 years of offering international safe army satellite tv for pc communications to the UK Ministry of Defence with the 50th anniversary of the primary Skynet satellite tv for pc. And it’s a double celebration as this yr Airbus can also be celebrating its 50th birthday.

Skynet 1A was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida on 22 November 1969 right into a geostationary orbit and it was adopted lower than a yr later by Skynet 1B to supply safe communications to the armed forces by way of voice – and in addition by fax and even telegraph!

Offering solely two voice channels from a satellite tv for pc about the identical dimension as a small fridge, these first Skynet satellites at the moment are outmoded by a fleet of 4 Skynet 5 satellites weighing greater than 6 tonnes at launch and every as huge as a big supply van. The typical energy of a Skynet 5 satellite tv for pc is four.7 kW which is roughly the identical as a typical UK residence.

Within the 50 years for the reason that launch of the primary Skynet Airbus has constructed 25 army communications satellites for defence ministries all over the world. Two Skynet 2 satellites have been launched in 1974, one failed as a consequence of a rocket motor downside on the satellite tv for pc, however Skynet 2B supplied companies for greater than 20 years.

Richard Franklin, Head of Safe Communications at Airbus Defence and Area mentioned: “Ensuring that the UK stays on the forefront of safe milsatcoms know-how and companies has been a cornerstone of Airbus’ method over the past 50 years. Skynet is a world class functionality for UK and we sit up for supporting our Armed Forces in essentially the most difficult environments with innovation for the following 50 years to help the operations of tomorrow; investing internally and alongside a community of SMEs and companions to carry the easiest options to satisfy our buyer necessities as they evolve.”

The observe on technology was Skynet four, with six satellites offering international safe communications. Designed to function in geostationary orbit for 15 years and nonetheless offering protection right now. Skynet four is the longest-serving satellite tv for pc constellation at 29 years outdated and continues to ship important communications.

Skynet 5 is the present satellite tv for pc collection and for the previous 16 years, Airbus has been chargeable for delivering all safe past line of sight communications to the UK MOD, proudly owning and working the 4 robust fleet. Throughout that point Skynet 5 satellites have been essential to holding armed forces in theatre in contact with one another and bases again within the UK.  And the satellites additionally present a key a part of service personnel having the ability to be in contact with family members again residence as a part of the WelComEservice.

Airbus is now trying on the subsequent technology – Skynet 6 – which is able to proceed the important communication companies to the UK MOD.


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