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There are now three military hardened Skynet 5 military communications satellites in orbit, delivering precise communications anywhere in the world. Skynet 5A and Skynet 5B entered service in April 2007 and January 2008, respectively. Skynet 5C was launched in June 2008. The satellites were designed, built and launched by Astrium.
The satellites provide world-class technology similar to that used in commercial applications for TV, telephone and internet traffic. Our systems are military hardened, to provide a secure and reliable solution that is highly resistant to attack and interference. Skynet 5 is hardened to demanding NATO standards and the world-leading anti-jamming antenna is extremely effective against hostile or non-hostile interference.
The Skynet 5 satellites are the most powerful military X-Band satellites launched to date by any nation and will allow high data rates to be available to small and disadvantaged terminals. These are typically the kinds of terminals used as a ‘first-in’ capability for disaster and rescue operations as well as military missions.
The full Skynet constellation consists of multiple spacecraft located in the Geostationary arc at 34°W, 17.8°W, 1°W, 6°E and 53°E providing X-Band and UHF coverage from approximately 100°W to 120°E.
The Skynet 5 satellites also feature steering mechanisms so they can be focused onto particular regions of the world, to support ongoing and active military operations.
The capabilities and bandwidth of the three satellites provides exceptional service to the UK armed forces and additional customers of Astrium Services. Should it prove necessary, the satellites can also be augmented by leasing capacity from other military satellite communications. The satellites can carry UHF and SHF payloads, provide secure control links, and feature anti-jam capability (Nulling Antenna), switchable connectivity and support for legacy terminals.
The satellite system is also extended through the integrated use of additional communications infrastructure, including:
Facts about Skynet 5