THE UK MINISTRY OF DEFENCE IS TO ORDER a sixth Skynet 4 military-communications satellite from Matra Marconi Space (MMS) in 1996, to be launched in 1999. Skynets 4D and E are also being built by MMS and will be launched by Delta 2 and Ariane 4 boosters in 1997 and 1998 respectively. Skynets 4B, A and C were launched in 1988-90 and are supported by a 14m (45ft)- diameter Earth station at RAF Oakhanger. The spacecraft weigh 770kg in geostationary orbit.

Source: Flight International