Astrium has received an order to fit six UK Royal Navy mine countermeasure vessels with a military X-band satellite communications capability via the Skynet 5 constellation. This will be achieved by fitting Astrium Services’ latest milspec maritime satellite terminals.
Known as Deployable Maritime Milsat (DMM), this project will allow vessels that were previously unable to use X-band satcom to take advantage of the extra protection and assurance that is provided by the Skynet 5 system. A further six vessels will be made ready to receive the same terminals at short notice should their future role require it.
To be delivered over five years, this programme will fit selected Royal Navy Mine Counter Measures Vessels with all of the satellite terminals and baseband equipment to allow them to fully integrate into Future Force Structure 2020. The satellite terminal that has been selected for this important programme is Astrium Services’ SCOTPatrol 0.8 metre terminal, which draws on the heritage of the highly successful SCOT 5 terminals that are fitted to the Royal Navy’s larger warships.
This next generation naval satellite communications terminal is lighter and requires less maintenance, making it ideal for smaller ships. The terminal will be integrated with the Astrium Services Skynet 5 Satellite Ground Terminal architecture and will take advantage of a new IP based Global Interconnect Network that Astrium Services are rolling out.
Simon Kershaw, Executive Director Government Communications at Astrium Services said: “It is important that our Armed Forces have the most advanced capabilities possible and we are very pleased to be able to deliver this programme. It will enable these vessels to play a full part in future operations. This programme is the result of an excellent joint working initiative that has seen Astrium Services working closely with the Royal Navy to design, test and deliver this important capability in a very short time frame. It is an example of how close working relationships can develop and deliver the goods in a long term stable contract. The Skynet 5 programme is now ten years in and has become an example of how industry can work with the MOD in a service delivery programme.”
As the world’s first commercial provider of military communications services, Astrium Services already enables governments and the military to procure secure communications as and when required, primarily to the UK Ministry of Defence under the Skynet 5 contract, signed in October 2003. Skynet 5 provides the UK Armed Forces with satellite communications worldwide. The contract runs until 2022.
Astrium is the number one company in Europe for space technologies and the third in the world. In 2011, Astrium had a turnover close to €5 billion and 18,000 employees worldwide, mainly in France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain and the Netherlands. Astrium is a wholly owned subsidiary of EADS, a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services. In 2011, the Group – comprising Airbus, Astrium, Cassidian and Eurocopter – generated revenues of €49.1 billion and employed a workforce of over 133,000.