New contract awarded for Skynet, the British MOD’s military satellite communications system

New contract awarded for Skynet, the British MOD’s military satellite communications system. Image: Gorodenkoff/

THE British Ministry of Defence announced on Wednesday, February 15 that Babcock, a British aerospace, defence and nuclear engineering services company based in London, England, has been awarded a six-year contract to manage and operate Skynet, the MOD’s military satellite communications system.

As part of the £400 million Skynet Service Delivery Wrap (SDW) contract, Babcock and their partners will operate and manage the UK MOD’s constellation of military satellites, and ground stations and integrate new user terminals, the MOD said.

“Skynet operations deliver information to UK and allied forces around the world, enabling a battlefield information advantage anywhere, anytime.”

The MOD added: “Delivering on the Prime Minister’s priority to grow the economy, creating better-paid jobs and opportunity right across the country, this contract is expected to support around 400 UK jobs in Corsham, Bristol and Plymouth.

“Those benefiting will include engineers, scientists, space technicians and administrative staff.

“Their work will ensure that our deployed forces have a world-leading capability to communicate back to the UK, whether on the battlefield, onboard a ship or in the air.

“The SDW contract is part of the wider satellite communications SKYNET 6 programme which will provide space-based communications to 2041 and beyond, with an overall government investment of £6 billion.”

Defence Procurement Minister Alex Chalk KC said: “Space is increasingly important for maintaining battlefield advantage.

“The UK’s next generation military satellite communications system will keep us at the forefront of this critical domain and the work under this contract will bolster our resilience for years to come.

“Providing low risk, uninterrupted services necessary to support the current Skynet 5 infrastructure, the partnership will also support the successful transition of services for future Skynet operations.”

David Lockwood, Chief Executive Officer for Babcock, said: “We are delighted to have been chosen to support this world-leading technological safeguard. Skynet enables vital communications to the UK Armed Forces wherever they are, helping to keep them safe.”

More information is available here.

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Matthew Roscoe

Originally from the UK, Matthew is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at