Britain’s military on July 19 agreed to fully fund a gap-filler Skynet satellite it sole-sourced from Airbus Defence and Space three years ago, signing a 500-million-pound ($628.5 million) contract that covers the satellite’s manufacture and launch, as well as ground segment upgrades.
The U.S. and U.K. on July 13 conducted a demonstration of the Protected Tactical Waveform over the Skynet satellite system.
OneWeb told the FCC May 26 that it wants to increase its constellation size to 48,000 satellites despite having filed for bankruptcy over an inability to fund a smaller broadband megaconstellation.
Commercial satellite technology is developing so fast, Britain’s Ministry of Defense isn’t certain its next-generation program will keep pace with what the future holds.
Twelve years ago, Britain revolutionized the process of purchasing military satellite telecommunications by outsourcing it all to the private sector. Now it appears about to return to conventional procurement for its follow-on satellites.