Skynet 5A

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Skynet 5A
Mission type Military communications
Operator Paradigm Secure Communications
EADS Astrium
On behalf of British Ministry of Defence
COSPAR ID 2007-007B
Mission duration 15 years
Spacecraft properties
Manufacturer EADS Astrium
Launch mass 4,700 kilograms (10,400 lb)
Start of mission
Launch date 11 March 2007 (2007-03-11)
Rocket Ariane 5ECA
Launch site Kourou ELA-3
Contractor Arianespace
Orbital parameters
Reference system Geocentric
Regime Geosynchronous

Skynet 5A is the first in a series of new-generation Skynet military communications satellites, used by the British Ministry of Defence. It was launched aboard an Ariane 5 carrier rocket at 22:03 GMT on 11 March 2007.


Skynet 5A was one of two payloads orbited by the first Arianespace Ariane 5 launch of 2007. India's INSAT 4B communications satellite was launched on the same rocket.

It was originally planned for launch on 10 March, but due to a problem with a sensor controlling the launch pad water deluge system, the launch was delayed one day.


Skynet 5A was built by EADS Astrium, who also selected Ariane 5 as the carrier rocket to launch all three Skynet 5-series satellites. Their design is based on the Eurostar E3000 satellite bus.


Skynet 5A will be used to provide secure communications services for the British armed forces, NATO, and a number of other countries.[which?] Skynet 5A had a launch mass of 4.7 tonnes, and operates with a payload power of 5 kilowatts, four times more than the previous-generation Skynet 4 satellites.

It is operated by Paradigm Secure Communications, a commercial organisation which is a wholly owned subsidiary of EADS Astrium, on behalf of the United Kingdom's Ministry of Defence.

Skynet 5A is located at 6 degrees East

See also[edit]