British military’s space campaign picks up steam with ‘Skynet’ upgrade

Actualizado: 31 may 2021

Viasat is upgrading Skynet satellite communications capabilities to enable the British military to comply with the latest integrated waveform requirement known as IW Phase 2, the company said on Feb. 8.

The deal was signed in the second quarter of 2020 but the UK arm of the Carlsbad, California-based communications company has only now been able to announce that it is undertaking the upgrade to ultra-high-frequency satellite communications network control stations in the Skynet system.

The upgrade is one in a spate of military-related space announcements in the last few days, which have seen the Ministry of Defence name its first Space Command boss and Lockheed Martin tie up with a rocket supplier for its first vertical launch from a UK spaceport.

The satellite communications contract was awarded by Airbus Defence and Space, the current private finance initiative operator of the Skynet satellites and associated ground control stations.

Airbus operates a clutch of Skynet 4 and 5 satellites and is building another spacecraft known as Skynet 6A.

The Airbus deal to operate Skynet nears its end, and the winner of a competition to operate the ground control stations beyond 2022 is expected soon.

Viasat is supplying its visual integrated satellite communications information, operation and networking software platform, known as Vision, to meet the IW Phase2 requirement.

Britain and its allies are in the process of switching to the new integrated waveform software in order to retain interoperability with U.S. military upgrades.

Source: C4ISRNET


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