Skynet 5 X-band

SKYNET 5’s are the world’s most powerful, nuclear hardened and protected, commercially controlled military X-band and UHF satellites available. Each SKYNET 5 has the unique capability to tailor beam forming networks, including multi-beam switching, to position high power where you need it most and across multiple theatres of operation, to deliver highly concentrated links for maximising the data to small terminals and blocking out sources of interference.


  • World’s most powerful, MILSATCOM grade, hardened and protected X-band satellites available
  • Flexibility to adjust coverage to negate interference signals with the use of the Beam Forming Network (BFN) and to reconfigure space segment to meet mission needs
  • Offers flexible services via global and rapidly steerable spot beams
  • Multi-beam switching capability delivers shaped and high gain footprints
  • Maximizes data to small and disadvantaged terminals
  • Supports Airborne – Maritime and COTM requirements
  • Fully interoperable with WGS X-band terminals
  • A2AD capable
  • Fast-track service available for urgent operational requirements
  • Jam resistant capability – intentional and unintentional
  • Hardened against nuclear events such as EMP and HANDs
  • Protection against laser dazzling
  • On-Board Satellite and Ground-Based GEO-location
  • NSA-Approved TT&C Encryption
  • MAC1 teleports in the UK and soon in Australia


SKYNET 5 System Features End User Benefit 
High Power Narrow Transponders

  • 160W transponders with bandwidths of 20MHz, 22MHz and 40Mhz
  • Up to 8W/MHz (more than 5 times that available on commercial grade systems) 
  • High performance for small terminals and terminals on the edge of cover
  • Stable Eb/No & BER enabling the use of higher order modulation (up to 64QAM proven) thus providing very high speed data delivery (155Mbps) using only 40MHz of capacity.
Beam Forming Techniques: The OBARA “On Board Active Receive Antenna” enables multiple uplink beams to be formed across the global coverage region of each satellite. The associated beam forming networks can create over 50 independent gain areas, creating many multiple uplink beam patterns in the area of interest.

  • Wide Beam: Typically covering whole continents and/or large ocean areas
  • Regional Beam: Typically covering large operational areas 
  • Increased uplink sensitivity where required
  • Shaped beams around interference
  • Higher data throughput need from any terminal size
  • Bespoke customer uplink patterns to match customer requirements
  • The theatre uplink beam can track a deployed user requirement to ensure maximum data rates
  • Theatre beam allows use of micro VSAT antennas 0.45m or greater at >1Mbps
Steerable Spot Beams – placing downlink power where you need it:

  • 4 steerable downlinks per SKYNET 5, 16 across the fleet 
  • Allows higher data rates to smaller terminals
  • Bespoke customer solutions tailored to customer requirements
Global X-band downlink and one global X-band uplink per satellite:

  • Global uplink beam – Typical edge of cover G/T >-10.2dB/K 
  • Broadband communications for isolated users (for example mid ocean)
  • Global uplink beam offers the customer the greatest satellite coverage but balanced by a lower data rate
  • Typically supports antennas 1.2m or greater at >1Mbps
Flexible Connectivity

  • Highly flexible connectivity available between uplink and downlink beams
  • Multi-beam switching capability
  • Complex connectivity can be set up to allow connectivity between users dispersed over several beams
  • Operator can manage the power and bandwidth available to the end user
Military Grade System

  • Military grade TT&C
  • Protected against nuclear events & space weather
  • NATO STANAG & MAC 1 compliant system
  • Control facilities & anchor sites secured to military specifications
  • Beam shaping 
High confidence that the system will not be disrupted by:

  • Hostile action
  • Unintentional actions
  • Environment
  • Equipment of process failures 
Commercial Service Provision

  • 24/7 customer & technical support
  • Service Level Agreements (SLAs) with binding commitment
  • Fast-track services available for urgent operational requirements
  • Any issues are resolved very quickly & efficiently
  • Guarantees 99.9% availability