Following the signing of the Skynet 5 Private Finance Initiative (PFI) contract between Paradigm Secure Communications Limited and the UK MOD, EADS Astrium have been awarded the contract by Paradigm Secure Communications for the supply of the UK MOD’s next generation military satellite communications system, Skynet 5.

Under this contract, EADS Astrium, will be the prime contractor for the design and build of two Skynet 5 spacecraft as well as implementing the upgrade of the ground segment and provision of additional satellite communications terminals.

Under the PFI, the UK MOD is procuring satellite communications services from Paradigm Secure Communications over the next 15 years. In order to provide a seamless transition, Paradigm Services has already taken over from the MOD the operation and management of the remaining EADS Astrium-built Skynet 4 satellites, the last of which was launched in February 2001 and will include the Skynet 5A and 5B spacecraft when launched in 2006 and 2007.