EADS expects to sign an estimated $3.6 billion contract with the UK "in weeks" for the Skynet 5 defence satellite programme. EADS's Astrium business will build the spacecraft. The UK's armed forces new satellite communication system is funded through a private finance initiative worth around £2 billion. The UK-based Astrium-led Paradigm consortium was picked last year as Skynet 5 preferred bidder. Once the deal is signed, paradigm will progressively take over management of the existing Skynet 4 constellation.

Source: Flight International