A new satellite which will provide secure military communications for UK Armed Forces has been successfully launched into space, the MoD announced today.
The extra lines of communication will benefit personnel deployed in Afghanistan and other parts of the world, including the Falklands, Cyprus and on ships at sea.
MoD pictures show the moment the Skynet 5D was launched from French Guiana, South America. It is the fourth satellite of the Skynet 5 project to be put into space since 2007 under a £4bn Private Finance Initiative (PFI) programme with Astrium, who built the satellite and service providers Astrium Services. The Skynet project sustains approximately 800 jobs between the company’s sites in Stevenage, Portsmouth and Corsham, Wiltshire.
When in space, Skynet 5D will travel at speeds of around 6,200 miles per hour and is expected to cover around 765 million miles during its time in orbit.