Airbus Defence and Space announced March 8 that it has signed Intelsat General to its channel partner program for Skynet 5 military satellite communication services. Under this channel partner agreement, Intelsat General will be offering Skynet X-band and UHF services as part of their mobile and fly-away communications portfolio, to the U.S. government.
Airbus Defence and Space is working with service providers to develop new partnerships to deliver highly resilient Skynet military satellite communication services to Asia Pacific region, following the move of its Skynet 5A satellite from 6° East to 95° East to provide global X-band and UHF coverage in this region. Since the move of Skynet 5A in September 2015, Airbus Defence and Space has signed nine channel partner agreements with companies in the Asia Pacific region and in the USA.
Richard Franklin, head of secure communications at Airbus Defence and Space, said: “This new partnership will enable Intelsat General to offer Skynet services to their already strong existing customer base. The services will notably be using the newly relocated Skynet 5A satellite and enable users to operate in the Asia Pacific regions, and augment and compliment their existing services.”
The relocation of Skynet 5A was initiated to extend the X-band coverage and services from 178 West to 163 East, including the Indian Ocean and Western Pacific region. The Skynet network now offers global military coverage, expanding core service reach for the UK military and augmenting coalition capabilities in the region.
“In order to accommodate customer requirements for in-demand UHF and protected X-band communications, we have formed a strategic alliance with Airbus for use of their Skynet fleet, said Skot Butler, president of Intelsat General Corporation (IGC). “Our customers’ needs are paramount, and this partnership will allow IGC to increase its capabilities to accommodate new services in the Asia Pacific region. The Skynet fleet will complement our new high-throughput satellite platform, Intelsat Epic offering C-band and Ku-band services globally.”
Airbus Defence and Space owns and operates the hardened Skynet X-band satellite constellation of seven satellites and the ground network to provide all Beyond Line of Sight (BLOS) communications to the UK Ministry of Defence. The contract also allows other NATO and allied governments such as members of the five-eyes community (besides UK, the USA, Australia, New Zealand and Canada) to use the Skynet system to augment their existing services.