Headlines > News > Arianespace to launch Skynet 5D Military Communications Satellite

Arianespace to launch Skynet 5D Military Communications Satellite

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Thu May 20, 2010 8:57 am via: Arianespace
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EADS Astrium selects Arianespace to launch the fourth satellite in the Skynet 5 constellation.

Jean-Yves Le Gall, Arianespace Chairman and CEO, announced today the launch contract signing of the Skynet 5D satellite with Astrium. Arianespace had already been chosen by Astrium to launch the Skynet 5A, 5B and 5C satellites.

The British Defence Ministry's Skynet5. Credit: MDO artist's concept

The British Defence Ministry's Skynet5. Credit: MDO artist's concept

Like the three previous spacecraft in the Skynet 5 family, Skynet 5D will be placed in geostationary transfer orbit by an Ariane 5 launcher from the Guiana Space Center in French Guiana. Launch is scheduled for the first half of 2013.

Skynet 5D, secure broadband communications for armed forces

Skynet 5D will be orbited by Arianespace for Astrium, which is contracted to deliver the satellite in orbit to the company Paradigm Secure Communications, a wholly owned subsidiary of Astrium.

Astrium’s Secure SatCom Systems is the prime system integrator and system design authority for Skynet 5 and Paradigm offers secure communications services to the British armed forces, NATO, other European countries, the USA and Australia.

Built by Astrium using a Eurostar E-3000 LX platform, carrying powerful X-band transponders, Skynet 5D will weigh 4,800 kg. at launch. Previously, Arianespace orbited the Skynet 4B, 4C, 4E and 4F satellites for the British Ministry of Defence.

Ariane 5 European defense missions

Skynet 5D is the 35th military payload to have chosen an Ariane launch. This latest contract clearly illustrates the strategic facet of Ariane 5, which guarantees independent access to space for all European governments. The Ariane 5 launcher is one of the keys to the development of a common European security policy, since it plays a pivotal role in the indispensable space segment.

Since the beginning of the year, Arianespace has signed 7 launch contracts for geostationary satellites and 5 dedicated Soyuz launches.

Um. Does anyone else see the problem with naming a satellite fleet Skynet? Just sayin.
Yes I do! :D
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