Airbus say that it is delivering the primary satellite communications to the UK Carrier Strike Group 2021 which set sail in late May 2021 until the end of the year on its inaugural maritime deployment.

This is the most important UK Royal Naval deployment in a generation.

Led by HMS Queen Elizabeth carrier, the UK Carrier Strike Group was deployed to the North Atlantic, through to the Mediterranean, Indian Ocean and on to the Indo-Pacific. The strike group has undertaken a range of operations and training with allies and partners, including maritime missions with NATO in the Mediterranean and Coalition operations in the Middle East and Far East.

Airbus say that they worked closely with the Navy Digital and Defence Digital in the lead up to the deployment to ensure the most efficient and effective communication plans were in place to support the UK elements of the task group.

“This included extensive scenario testing. Extensive work was undertaken prior to the deployment by Airbus engineers on-board the various platforms whilst in UK dockyards to ensure the UK platforms in the group were provided with the latest communications upgrades available.

This included provision of the latest rollout of the Airbus Maritime Network Evolution (MNE) capability enabling the CSG21 platforms to take advantage of multi bearers of opportunity (BOO), including MilSat, ComSat, Ship alongside, Wifi, and 5G whilst at sea or alongside in port. Primary satellite communications support for the group is provided over the Skynet 5 satellite constellation anchored via the Airbus UK satellite ground stations at Oakhanger and Colerne, and also Airbus’ Australian anchor station in Adelaide.”

Richard Franklin, Managing Director of Airbus Defence and Space UK said:

“This global integrated deployment has fully proven Airbus’ ability to provide critical secure satellite communications operational support for this multi-domain UK task group across the world. We were equally pleased to work with our industry partners in commercial satellite communications to deliver the most appropriate meshed solutions to this deployment ensuring information superiority could be maintained at all times. Skynet 6A, now in production, will provide seamless continuation of this world class capability.”

Day-to-day support of satellite communications services is coordinated and controlled by Airbus teams in the Skynet Hawthorn Network Operations Centre, say Airbus.

“The CSG planned to cover over 40,000 nautical miles during its inaugural deployment.  The aim of the CSG is to facilitate carrier-enabled power projection (CEPP) in support of the UK’s interests. As a self-contained force, it is capable of operating independently or as part of a wider operation. The task group, as well as UK maritime ships, was joined by USS The Sullivans and Royal Netherlands Navy HNLMS Evertsen. F35B Lightning II aircraft provided from both the UK and US have been embarked on board HMS Queen Elizabeth during this deployment.

The Skynet 5 programme, managed by Airbus, has provided the UK MOD with a suite of highly robust, reliable and secure military communications services, supporting operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Balkans. The programme commenced by using the legacy Skynet 4 satellites and then augmenting them with a fully refurbished ground network before launching the Skynet 5A, 5B, 5C and 5D satellites between 2007 and 2012. Through the many years of Airbus delivering an exceptionally reliable Skynet service the programme has reduced or removed many of the technical and service risks for the MOD, whilst ensuring unrivalled secure satellite communications to UK forces delivering both operational and information advantage at the greatest time of need.”

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geoff
geoff
1 day ago

I always think it was a pity Bae sold their stake in Airbus. leaves the UK with no say at the table.

Tommo
Tommo
1 day ago
Reply to  geoff

Shareholders only think of Proffits not Patriotism Just hope France don’t declare war over Fishing

Hermes
Hermes
1 day ago
Reply to  Tommo

war ? For some fishs ?
I think we have much more to do with others countries than between us:..

Jonathan
Jonathan
21 hours ago
Reply to  Hermes

Well we had the cod wars with Iceland, we could have the langoustine war with France. I’m sure the french and British fishing fleets, La Royale and RN could have a great old time ramming each other off the best biomass.

We both have flagging political leadership that could always do with a bit of cross channel jingoistic fish action.

Tommo
Tommo
18 hours ago
Reply to  Hermes

France has some way to go its not 1974 and there’s no Cod or Icelandic gun boats I was just Jesting France should at least do the job we’ve paid them too do as I don’t, think that they want our OPVs going up and down of Calais whilst the rest of the EU is bolstering Poland boarder with Brlarus

Mark B
Mark B
21 hours ago
Reply to  Tommo

A bit of bashing the English is popular with the public in France, Spain and probably many other countries. We are all used to it and accept we are better than everyone else (especially in sport amongst other things). It must be irritating but gives their politicians the opportunity to score points by blaming the English for all their troubles. 😂 😂

Tommo
Tommo
7 hours ago
Reply to  Mark B

Can’t see Macron or Lapenn competing in Tennis mixed doubles tennis only Fencing 🤺 well duelling and the 100mtr runaway sprint 🏃‍♂️

Mark B
Mark B
21 hours ago
Reply to  geoff

We need a new fleet of aircraft for both military and civilian use powered by food scraps etc. There has never been a better time to build our own table. It might be a pity the Europeans have taken their ball in and they might yet change their minds but we are where we are so let’s get on with it.🤔

Tommo
Tommo
33 seconds ago
Reply to  Mark B

Well the French have a headstart ,not with food scrapes but another bi product Methane, the French are full of SxxT hee her

farouk
farouk
1 day ago

I feel the article should have mentioned this current story: UK satellite firm Inmarsat agrees $7.3bn takeover by US rival Viasat The British satellite communications company Inmarsat has agreed a $7.3bn (£5.4bn) takeover by the California-based Viasat, becoming the latest UK tech firm to be taken over by a foreign rival. The deal is the latest in which a UK company that plays a key role in Britain’s economy and national security is to be taken over by foreign rivals or private equity firms. Inmarsat was listed on the London Stock Exchange before being taken private two years ago by… Read more »

grizzler
grizzler
1 day ago
Reply to  farouk

What do you expect in this Free Market Tory environment?They know the price of everything and the valule of nothing.
Successive UK governments since th 50’s have allowed class leading innovative technology to be bought up. From computers to cryptography, from planes to rockets to satelites , from comp. chips to AI .
All sold off or left to others to develop to their true potential – and squandered away.
They say the approach stimulates innovation and growth – of their bank balances obviously.
As it was so shall it ever be- UK Market rules need to be changed.

Ron5
Ron5
1 day ago
Reply to  grizzler

It happened just the same under Labour governments. No different.

grizzler
grizzler
1 day ago
Reply to  Ron5

Hence me saying successive governments since the 50’s..However the Free Market approach of Tory governments since the early 80s has made it far easier for aggresive takeovers. Nonwithstanding the political aspects or the security implications I’d be interested to know if you feel this approach encourages private endeavour and invesratment in the UK or undermines long term UK growth, and potential?

Robert Billington
Robert Billington
22 hours ago
Reply to  grizzler

If you follow the FT, and I agree heartily with your comments, the problem is securing enough investment by British investors. That’s why they get sold off. British investors don’t want to invest here. Boris has made it part of his policy of levelling up to encourage more British investment. Have a read about it on the FT.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
18 hours ago

We don’t offer any real tax break for other than micro investment. The days of running a £5M turnover company and being the main shareholder and this delivering a fantastic tax efficient life style are gone. There is not a lot of incentive left to risk your own capital anymore. And the UK banks have never been interested in risking capital at all: nothing has changed there. The RLS (Recovery Loans Scheme) scheme is a farce. A friend of mine is a loan broker and deals with this and basically says that 80% of loans are rejected. The sort of… Read more »

Tom Keane
Tom Keane
18 hours ago
Reply to  Ron5

Oh?

Hermes
Hermes
1 day ago
Reply to  grizzler

It’s interesting to see a british complain about this since the UK with northern EU is the the most active to promote the US model:
(US model being the cause of this situation)

The same model that the french people try to counter under the Macron era (started 15y ago by Sarkozy)

Last edited 1 day ago by Hermes
farouk
farouk
1 day ago
Reply to  Hermes

H, The problem we have with the current Government is that they will sell everything and anything in which to fund their wonkness in which to promtoe themselves on the world stag. And if that emans selling the Uk short, they will do so and they have done so. Boris is really dangerious as he has had to be slapped away from selling the Uk to the Chinese. Under his watch corruption has gone through the roof the current one being second jobs for the boys. The interesting thing is, MPs had their hands slapped only 10 years ago and… Read more »

Hermes
Hermes
22 hours ago
Reply to  farouk

I understand, we have the same feeling in France for a lot of subject (Alstom, chantier de l’Atlantique… ).
Especially on defense indutries and cooperation with germany where a lot of people feel like we litterally sell the french industry to the IVth Reich.

It’s just… Interesting to see these being the same in UK since the reason to exist of the Brexit is for the “Global UK” and its sovereignity.

Last edited 22 hours ago by Hermes
Steve
Steve
22 hours ago
Reply to  Hermes

Its not actually the US model, since the American government is very active at protecting its own companies from foreign takeovers. America is far less free trade than we are. Frances economy being stronger than ours with same population demonstrates that maybe we are too open.

Robert Billington
Robert Billington
22 hours ago
Reply to  Steve

Because they still follow the original doctrine of Whiggism that we birthed to them in the 18/19th century. Modern British conservatism was founded by the Whigs. To look after ourselves. It wasn’t till later that the Tories adopted free trade and the repeal of the Corn Laws.

Hermes
Hermes
22 hours ago
Reply to  Steve

When I said “US model” its just because I’m not able to translate correctly, sorry.
What I call “US model” is the global and liberal economy.

Its the US who ask for all economy to be like that, even if themselves dont really apply the rules.

“Frances economy being stronger than ours”
I’m not sure if we can be stated as stronger… We have a pretty different approach.

Steve
Steve
22 hours ago
Reply to  Hermes

Yeah hard to compare UK vs France, but just looking at national debt and GDP and France is marginally stronger. The two countries ping pong for the 5th spot (probably 6th now), but France is generally ahead.

EDIT: seems 2021 predications are UK ahead again, so scrap that.

Last edited 22 hours ago by Steve
eclipse
eclipse
18 hours ago
Reply to  Steve

yeah UK is far ahead by now, by between a quarter and half a trillion dollars. external debt doesn’t mean much by the way; in fact higher external debt means more countries trust the economy and are prepared to invest

Steve
Steve
18 hours ago
Reply to  eclipse

In a period of mid covid, its currently hard to compare. We won’t really know how badly each country has done until probably 3 or 4 years time or more. As for national debt, it’s very important, as with it comes interest and that takes a large slice off the spending power of the government and also causes huge problems should the rates start to rise. Long periods of low interest has meant it’s not really a major problem but that can and has rapidly changed in the past

Steve
Steve
18 hours ago
Reply to  eclipse

External debt is also a major problem because it means you cant inflate your way out of the debt, which has been the historic approach. With foreign debt the exchange rate adjusts with inflation and balances it out

eclipse
eclipse
15 hours ago
Reply to  Steve

I didn’t say national debt wasn’t a problem, but it is a problem that france is having also, worse than us by the way. We’re at around 100pc and the French are at 116pc. However, external debt is owed by our companies, and due to London’s preeminence as a financial centre and how many transactions take place here, our external debt is very inflated and does not represent the status of our economy. For cities like London, a higher external debt means more funds have been invested into it.

Joe16
Joe16
6 hours ago
Reply to  Steve

If you’re interested, and have the time, this article quite handily lays out what you said about US policy. I post it at Americans who somehow seem to think that they’re bastions of free trade and markets.
chrome-extension://efaidnbmnnnibpcajpcglclefindmkaj/viewer.html?pdfurl=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.civitas.org.uk%2Fcontent%2Ffiles%2FIndustrialpolicyintheUnitedStates.pdf&clen=469280&chunk=true

Paul.P
Paul.P
22 hours ago
Reply to  grizzler

This is something of a UK cultural problem. I think the French approach where the state takes a big share in strategic industries and technologies works better. But you have to have tripartite trust between the company management, the civil service and the government. Everybody needs to be playing on the same team which views foreign competition as the opposition.

Hermes
Hermes
22 hours ago
Reply to  Paul.P

“I think the French approach where the state takes a big share in strategic industries and technologies works better.”
It was the case before, but today, we are selling a lot of our core industries (defense but not only). Only a small part of them are “sanctuarisé” under the national seal.

But in this globalized world, I dont see any other solution to protect your sovereign industry.
Even if the US and EU are displeased.

Paul.P
Paul.P
7 hours ago
Reply to  Hermes

It can be done if there is a will to compromise. My understanding is that MBDA and Leonardo both respect and leverage the centres of excellence which were formally national companies. Also Airbus, although created out of French nationalism to compete with Boeing ( good work there!), the company respects and genuinely cherished the Broughton wing plant as part of the ‘family’. The rise of China ( and pressures from Putin and global warming) are pushing everyone into survival mode. I’m sure this was one of the drivers for Brexit. The UK broke ranks. In a war between Humanity and… Read more »

Hermes
Hermes
2 hours ago
Reply to  Paul.P
Tams
Tams
13 hours ago
Reply to  farouk

Yet another firesale of the UK’s resources and potential.

It really started rather innocuously with Cadbury, but then it was Cobham, then ARM, now Inmarsat. They’ve tried to get Astra-Zeneca too.

BAE are safe, but others are probably looking to take bits off them.

Unless such businesses are in financial trouble (Land Rover – Jaguar), it should be treason to sell control over them to foreigners.

Lee H
Lee H
1 day ago

Looks like Airbus are lobbying hard for Skynet SDW and the future Skynet contract. The incumbent always has the advantage.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
1 day ago

Slightly off-topic, but interesting nonetheless!

Engineers from MBDA Missile Systems, working in conjunction with Swansea University research staff, have developed an innovative, compact, low-cost global navigation satellite system (GNSS) anti-jam antenna specifically suited to smaller calibre-guided weapons.

https://www.janes.com/defence-news/c4isr-command-tech/latest/mbda-showcases-low-cost-anti-jam-gnss-antenna

Steve
Steve
22 hours ago

I wonder if they ever managed to solve the whole tracking issue around sat calls, that was discovered by Argentina during the Falklands and used by Russia during Iraq1.

Locking Nut
Locking Nut
12 hours ago

Interesting. I remember when the CSG departed that Richmond and Kent had sprouted a new sat dome on their hangar roofs. Wondered at the time what that was about. Maybe now we have the explanation.