Babcock Awarded Contract to Operate Skynet - The MoD Satelli
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This news is classified in: Defense Contracts Communications

Feb 16, 2023

Babcock Awarded Contract to Operate Skynet - The MoD Satellite Communications System

BAE Systems, Inc. and Leonardo UK recently received U.S. government approval to develop an interoperable aircraft survivability suite consisting of BAE Systems’ AN/AAR-57 Common Missile Warning System (CMWS) and Leonardo’s Miysis Directed Infrared Countermeasure (DIRCM) System. The combined capability will significantly enhance aircraft survivability against advanced threats.
 
“This layered defense against new and advanced threats will protect aircraft and their crews in the most complex battlespaces,” said Chris Austin, director of Integrated Survivability Solutions at BAE Systems. “Using interoperable, combat-proven systems is a smart, efficient, and cost-effective aircraft survivability solution for our international customers.”
 
BAE Systems’ AN/AAR-57 CMWS detects incoming hostile fire and missile threats, alerts crews, and automatically cues countermeasures. It is deployed across the U.S. Army’s and numerous partner nations’ rotary- and fixed-wing fleets. More than 3,000 CMWS units have been installed on over 40 different types of aircraft. CMWS has logged more than four million combat flight hours, saving hundreds of lives and dozens of aircraft in ever-changing threat environments.
 
The Miysis DIRCM system, developed and produced by Leonardo in Edinburgh, UK and chosen by multiple international customers, provides exceedingly dependable, persistent protection from Infrared Man Portable Air Defense Systems (IR MANPADS). It overwhelms a missile seeker head with a sudden and massive stream of coded laser energy that can defeat multiple simultaneous threats.
 
The BAE Systems-Leonardo solution will allow existing CMWS users to add a proven, readily exportable DIRCM capability in the most cost-effective way. It will maximize the effectiveness of CMWS flare decoying while enhancing aircraft survivability with a highly effective directed infrared countermeasure system.
 
“We are very pleased to be able to offer this capability to operators around the world in collaboration with BAE Systems. The AN/AAR-57 CMWS is in service on thousands of platforms worldwide, making it highly complementary to our readily exportable Miysis DIRCM,” said Tony Innes, VP Sales Radar and Advanced Targeting at Leonardo. “International customers who operate the AN/AAR-57 now have a fast, simple and low risk way to equip their platforms with gold standard DIRCM protection against infrared missiles.”
 
AN/AAR-57 CMWS is produced at BAE Systems’ state-of-the-art facilities in Nashua, N.H. and Huntsville, Ala.We are delighted to announce that Babcock has been awarded the contract to manage and operate Skynet, the UK Ministry of Defence’s (MOD) military satellite communications system.

The six-year contract, with an initial value of more than £400 million, forms part of the MOD’s £6 billion Skynet 6 programme, sustaining more than 400 jobs in the south-west of the UK.

Skynet Service Delivery Wrap (SDW) will encompass the operation of the UK’s constellation of military satellites and ground stations, including the integration of terminals into the MOD network, ensuring they are integrated and supported.

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Babcock will partner with SES, GovSat and Intelsat on Skynet SDW.

David Lockwood, CEO 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.

“Babcock is a world leader in secure communications for the military. Together with our partners, we will provide a high-tech solution which combines the availability, affordability and capability that the UK needs.”

Alex Chalk, Defence Procurement Minister, 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.”

Skynet has been in service since the 1960s – with the first satellite of the sixth Skynet generation satellite, Skynet 6A, set to be launched in 2025. The contract includes the services necessary to support the current Skynet infrastructure, as well as the successful transition and continuous delivery of service for future Skynet operations.

Babcock and its partners bring the stability, knowledge, and pedigree of a proven service provider with the leading commercial and military satellite operators to utilise the best-in-class solutions the industry has to offer.

Backed by its unique, collective international experience across defence and satcom operations, the partnership will provide a low risk, uninterrupted service which brings an assured end-to-end approach for the MOD. Its one-team ethos integrates the customer, partners, and supply chain to deliver an adaptable, agile and supportable service delivery solution.


Babcock International
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