Babcock awarded £400M contract to operate military satellites

Babcock awarded £400M contract to operate military satellites Ryan is a senior editor at TechForge Media with over a decade of experience covering the latest technology and interviewing leading industry figures. He can often be sighted at tech conferences with a strong coffee in one hand and a laptop in the other. If it's geeky, he’s probably into it. Find him on Twitter (@Gadget_Ry) or Mastodon (

Babcock and its partners have been awarded a £400 million contract to operate the Skynet military satellite communications system.

Skynet is the UK’s satellite system that enables communications to be sent from anywhere in the world back to the UK and its allies.

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.”

The contract with Babcock forms part of the MoD’s wider £6 billion Skynet 6 programme. The deal is expected to support around 400 jobs in Bristol, Plymouth, and Corsham in the south-west of the UK.

David Lockwood, CEO of Babcock, commented:

“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.”

Skynet 6 will build upon the existing Skynet 5 infrastructure and deliver:

  • Skynet 6A – Airbus Defence and Space UK will oversee the manufacture and launch of the Skynet 6A satellite.
  • Skynet Enduring Capability will ensure the delivery of new space-based technology from 2028 onwards.
  • New ground and user terminal capabilities to ensure that UK warfighters have modern communications technology worldwide.
  • A longer-term approach for delivering space-based communications capability.

Combined, the Skynet 6 programme will provide the UK and its allies with satellite communications to 2041 and beyond.

(Image Credit: UK MoD under OGL license)

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