Satellite Space News

Airbus completes Preliminary Design Review for Skynet 6A

Skynet 6A moves towards Critical Design Review phase.

Airbus has successfully completed the Preliminary Design Review for the Skynet 6A project. The project now has permission to move into the next phase leading to the Critical Design Review.

Airbus was awarded the Skynet 6A contract in July 2020. The Skynet 6A satellite is based on Airbus’ Eurostar Neo telecommunications satellite platform. It will utilise more of the radio frequency spectrum available for satellite communications and the latest digital processing to provide both more capacity and greater versatility than Skynet 5 satellites.

Richard Franklin, Managing Director of Airbus Defence and Space UK said: “This is excellent news and demonstrates our joint commitment to work in partnership to achieve the programme schedule. The progress we are making in building the UK MOD’s next-generation military satellite and getting to this stage, despite current restrictions, really highlights the flexible and the strong working relationship we have built with the Defence Digital team. Skynet 6A, to be built entirely in the UK, will significantly enhance the UK’s milsatcoms capability, building on the heritage of the four Skynet 5 satellites which were also built by Airbus, and which are all still operating perfectly in orbit.”

The contract signed with the U.K. Ministry of Defense’s (MOD) involves the development, manufacture, cyber protection, assembly, integration, test, and launch, of a military communications satellite Skynet 6A, which is planned for launch in 2025. The U.K. MOD review board meeting took place in October, and the PDR was achieved in November.