UK Nears Final Stage of Skynet Satellite Contract Competition

Britain’s Ministry of Defense will soon launch the final stage of a competition to manage ground station capabilities for Skynet, a military communications satellite network which provides strategic communication services to the British Armed Forces and NATO.

According to a report by C4ISRNET, the invitation to industry consortia to “negotiate documents” was expected to occur last week. However, industry executives, who asked not to be identified, have said that they expect the British Ministry of Defense to launch the final stage of the competition “imminently.”

Bidders are competing on the role of running the ground elements of the new communications network, dubbed Skynet 6. It is not clear who the final bidders are, as the Ministry of Defense has required that they all sign nondisclosure agreements preventing them from providing any media statements. 

The only team that has been made public consists of service provider Serco, satellite operator Inmarsat, information technology specialist firm CGI UK and the Aerospace and the British division of defense giant Lockheed Martin. 

This team, which dubbed itself Athena after the Greek goddess of war and wisdom, announced that it was bidding for the project before the Ministry of Defense issued its nondisclosure order. 

“Athena will boost British capabilities, as well as the economy, via growth in this fast-moving, developing sector. The launch of Athena also ensures diversity and choice in the UK space…

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