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First Skynet 5 Deliveries Achieved As MOD Accepts Talon Terminals

28 Oct 2002

The first delivery within the boundary of the Skynet 5 project has been achieved only four months after placement by Astrium of a contract with BAE Systems C4ISR. The first batch of six Talon satellite communications terminals has been delivered to the Paradigm team who then transferred the terminals to MOD, ready for rapid deployment to support out-of-area operations by British Armed Forces. The Paradigm team was selected as preferred bidder for the Skynet 5 programme in February 2002 and is currently working towards final contract signature with the MOD.

This first procurement in the Skynet 5 programme is covered by a contract awarded to BAE Systems C4ISR by Astrium, as the prime contractor to Paradigm for both the Skynet 5 space and ground segments, in July 2002. Fifiteen terminals will be supplied in three phases (the second in December 2002 and the third in August 2003). BAE Systems C4ISR's Talon terminals incorporate a range of commercial off-the-shelf components integrated to provide military features such as satellite tracking and the use of defence frequency bands.

Talon terminals, produced by the Christchurch, Communications & Defence Infrastructure Division of BAE Systems C4ISR, were also recently supplied under a separate UK Ministry of Defence contract to support NATO operations.

Colin Paynter, Managing Director, Astrium Ltd. said "By working with BAE Systems and Paradigm, Astrium is delighted to have completed this first Skynet 5 delivery. As prime contractor to Paradigm for the Skynet 5 ground segment, Astrium will provide a further 72 tactical terminals of various types and additional associated communications equipment."

The Paradigm team is led by Paradigm Secure Communications with Astrium and Paradigm Services as principal suppliers. The UK MOD and Paradigm have been working closely together to meet the ambitious timescale of contract award by the end of the year. The innovative PFI(Private Finance Initiative) approach to the delivery of military satellite communications services will initially be implemented through the transfer of the Skynet 4 space and ground segments from the MOD to Paradigm. Scheduled to take place mid 2003, this will be followed by the introduction of the Skynet 5 satellites and ground systems later in the decade. This means that in less than a year, Paradigm will be delivering global secure satellite communications services to both UK and other customers worldwide.

Hilary Mathews, Managing Director, Paradigm Secure Communications said, "Paradigm is pleased to announce that the MOD has received the Talon terminals, marking the first delivery within the boundary of the Skynet 5 programme. This clearly demonstrates one of the major benefits of the Skynet 5 concept which allows new equipment to be delivered into the field at an unprecedented pace."
Editor's Notes

Paradigm and SKYNET 5

Under the Skynet 5 Private Finance Initiative (PFI) programme, the Paradigm team will provide secure satellite communications services to UK Armed Forces around the world until 2018. Worth around 2 billion over nearly 2 decades, this is the largest PFI of its kind.

In choosing this highly flexible and cost effective service provision solution, the MOD retains guaranteed, secure milsatcoms whenever and wherever required, whilst eliminating the risks of managing the space system and benefiting from evolving technologies and increasing capacity.

Paradigm Secure Communications was formed by Astrium in 1999 to address the emerging military satellite communications services market. Paradigm Secure Communications will contract with Paradigm Services for full service delivery and with Astrium for the Skynet 5 satellites and ground systems. Both Paradigm companies will become joint ventures between BAE Systems and EADS, the European Aeronautic Defence & Space company, on contract award.


Astrium is a joint venture owned 75% by EADS, European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company and 25% by BAE Systems. In 2001 Astrium had a turnover of 1.9 billion Euros with 8400 employees in France, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom. Astrium is currently focusing on its satellite business activities covering civil and military telecommunications and Earth observation, science and navigation programmes, avionics and equipments.

Astrium's Military Communication Systems division, based mainly in the UK, is the prime contractor for the Skynet 5 satellites and ground systems, including Skynet 4 ground segment upgrades, which will enhance the throughput on the existing Skynet 4 satellites.


BAE Systems is a systems company employing nearly 100,000 people including Joint Ventures, and has annual sales of around 13 billion. The company offers a global capability in air, sea, land and space with a world-class prime contracting ability supported by a range of key skills. BAE Systems designs, manufactures and supports military aircraft, surface ships, submarines, space systems, radar, avionics, communications, electronics, guided weapon systems and a range of other defence products. BAE Systems is dedicated to making the intelligent connections needed to deliver innovative solutions.

BAE Systems C4ISR is a global centre of excellence supplying innovative, network enhanced solutions focused on military capability. It employs proven systems integration skills to transfer advanced civil and military technologies into robust, single-service and tri-service information management environments. C4ISR optimises the operational effectiveness of command & control and platforms within the digitized battlespace, providing flexible architectures to support fast decision-making.

Photo caption: The Talon terminal delivered under the Skynet 5 programme.

Mary Walmsley, Marketing Manager, Paradigm Secure Communications
Tel: +44 1438 774419 Mob: +44 7887 826265 E-mail:

Alistair Scott, Director of Communications, Astrium
Tel: +44 1438 773698 Fax: +44 7887 826264 E-mail:

Dennis Burton, BAE Systems C4ISR
Tel: +44 (0) 1202 408512 Mob: +44 (0) 780 171 2587

Ref: 223/2002

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