UK-based consortium Paradigm Secure Communications has won a £2bn contract with the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to supply the Skynet 5 satellite communications system.
The Paradigm team, which includes Logica, Motorola, Nortel Networks, BAE Systems and Cable and Wireless, will build and operate satellite and ground stations for the UK armed forces under a private finance initiative.
Paradigm will progressively take over the management of the existing Skynet 4. The initial operational service of Skynet 5 will be delivered in 2005 with the full service available in 2008.
The deal is expected to create 1,500 jobs across the UK and is the biggest MoD private finance initiative to date.
Defence minister Dr Lewis Moonie explained that the MoD is getting the service for a lot less than if it had followed a traditional procurement route.
It is also getting "a greatly improved service with security and flexibility built in to cope with the growth in military satellite communications requirements expected over the next few years", he said.
Steve Burnett, divisional director at Logica Services, said the contract will run over 15 years.
Paradigm beat off competition from the Rosetta Group that included BT Group and Lockheed Martin.
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