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Arianespace Wins Skynet 5 Launch Deals (Jan. 5)

To satisfy its in-orbit delivery contract with Paradigm Secure Communications, EADS Astrium has selected Arianespace’s Ariane 5 for the launch of both of the UK MOD’s next generation secure military telecommunications satellites, Skynet 5A and 5B.

The contract, signed at the end of December 2004, also includes an option for an additional launch.

Selection of Arianespace followed an extensive and rigorous evaluation of proposals from all the major launch service providers. Strenuous efforts were made to ensure that the process was comprehensive and fair.

In his announcement, Colin Paynter, Managing Director of EADS Astrium Limited, said “Arianespace has provided a solution with the lowest risk, the greatest flexibility and the best value for money. This will allow us to launch Skynet 5A in the summer of 2006 and Skynet 5B in mid 2007. We look forward to working closely with Arianespace to meet these strategic milestones.

Skynet 5A and 5B will replace the existing Skynet 4 satellites, also built by EADS Astrium, which are already owned and operated by Paradigm Secure Communications.

EADS Astrium is Europe’s leading satellite system specialist. Its activities cover complete civil and military telecommunications and Earth observation systems, science and navigation programmes, and all spacecraft avionics and equipment. EADS Astrium, wholly owned subsidiary of EADS SPACE, which is dedicated to providing civil and defence space systems. In 2003 EADS SPACE had a turnover of 2.4 billion euros and 12,000 employees in France, Germany, the United Kingdom and Spain.

Paradigm Secure Communications, part of EADS SPACE Services, signed a £2.5bn contract with the MOD UK in October 2003 for the provision of military satellite communications services up to 2018. The programme, procured as a Private Finance Initiative, includes the funding for the next generation of UK Milsatcom capability. The Paradigm team, led by Paradigm Secure Communications, includes EADS Astrium Ltd, the system provider and Paradigm Services Ltd for full service delivery.

EADS is a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services. In 2003, EADS generated revenues of 30.1 billion euros and employed a workforce of more than 100,000.

EADS Astrium Selects Arianespace to Launch Skynet 5