[Satnews] Airbus Defence and Space is working with local service providers to develop new partnerships to deliver highly resilient Skynet military satellite communication services to the Asia Pacific (APAC) region, following the successful completion of Skynet 5A satellite move from 6 degrees East to 95 degrees East to provide global X-band and UHF coverage in this region.
Airbus Defence and Space has signed an agreement with CopaSAT to become a new channel partner for Skynet services, primarily using the relocated Skynet 5A satellite. CopaSAT will be offering Skynet services as part of a proven and assured portfolio to their US customers delivering innovative network services that combine the affordability, operational utility and scalability required to meet the complex scenarios experienced in global security and humanitarian operations.
Last year, Airbus Defence and Space worked with CopaSAT, and its terminal partner Tampa Microwave, to conduct a series of successful network tests using the Skynet 5A X-band satellite. CopaSAT teams, using CopaSAT’s teleport infrastructure and Tampa Microwave’s remote manpack and fly-away terminals, as well as various other small terminals, conducted end-to-end testing to confirm operation of an entire network and the performance of Skynet 5A at the new orbital slot.
Airbus Defence and Space completed the move of the Skynet 5A to 95 degrees East over the Asia Pacific region in September 2015. The relocation was initiated to extend the Skynet constellation’s 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.
Airbus Defence and Space owns and operates the hardened Skynet X-band satellite constellation of eight 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. Airbus Defence and Space also leases the X-band hosted payload on Telesat’s Anik G1 satellite which covers the Americas and parts of the Pacific including Hawaii and Easter Island.
Obie Johnson, President of CopaSAT, said, “We have worked with Airbus Defence and Space for five years primarily as a terminal partner, but we are now positioned to provide CopaNET to our US troops throughout the PACRIM, Asia, and west to Arabia.”
Steve Mills, Head of Global Sales and Marketing for Skynet 5 at Airbus Defence and Space, said, “This new partnership with CopaSAT will enable Skynet services to be delivered across new regions and to new customers. This capability provides allied governments with a significant new option for missions requiring assured communications, which can operate using light-weight, expeditionary terminals and is not susceptible to rain or snow fade.”