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21st Mar 05. On 23rd February 2005 Paradigm Secure Communications achieved the key ‘In Service Date’ (ISD) milestone, for the Skynet 5 Private Finance Initiative (PFI) programme.

This is the first and most challenging milestone since Paradigm signed the £2.5bn (€3.6bn) 15 year contract in October 2003 and marks a significant change in the way that long haul communications services are delivered to the UK Armed Forces. It is a major contribution to the realisation of the MOD Global Communications Network (GCN) architecture.

This milestone required a major upgrade of UK Satellite Ground Station facilities and the introduction of new service management processes. The upgraded system including new terminals and network control centre can support a full range of modern communications services. ISD lays the foundation for future roll-out of remote terminals and further capability enhancements including the Paradigm Modem System (PMS).

The achievement of ISD represents a strong endorsement of the Skynet 5 PFI structure. All parties within the Skynet 5 ‘Enterprise’ have worked together to achieve this key milestone, resulting in excellent working relationships and high levels of cooperation between MOD and industry teams. At the same time Paradigm has been delivering services and exceeding performance targets during a very busy period of deployed operations.

The groundbreaking Skynet 5 PFI programme will deliver the most advanced and flexible satellite communications service with an increased capacity of about 2.5 times the current system. The service will enable instantaneous voice, video and data transmission between users deployed in a wide range of operational scenarios. Individual requests for services to meet specific operational requirements are handled by Paradigm which provides 24/7 365 day support.

Eric Béranger, CEO of EADS SPACE Services, said: “Achieving this milestone demonstrates our capability in the field of global military satellite communications. Not only have we delivered on time against an aggressive schedule but we have also proved the effectiveness of well managed PFI programmes – where we can deliver enhanced and flexible services at reduced cost to the customer.” He added: “This success is a reflection on the expertise of our UK team, Paradigm Secure Communications, Paradigm Services, EADS Astrium and their many subcontractors.”

Malcolm Peto, Managing Director, Paradigm Secure Communications, said: “We are delighted to have achieved this milestone on time. The close working relationship that we have developed with the MoD will be further strengthened by this achievement and we are committed to introducing new technologies as and when they become available.”

Under the terms of the innovative Skynet 5 deal, Paradigm is able to generate revenue from the delivery of specialist military and government communications services to other customers. To date Paradigm has signed agreements to provide resilient, secure military satellite services to a number of countries and organisations including a 15 year deal for NATO.

Paradigm Secure Communications will launch two new satellites in 2006 and 2007 to provide continuity of satellite communications services. These satellites will meet both the high capacity long haul communications needs and the expected growth in traffic until 2018. The satellites will be controlled from the UK and the service managed from a dedicated Paradigm satellite control facility on an MoD site.

Paradigm is procuring the entire Skynet 5 system including satellites, ground stations, land mobile terminals, shipborne terminals, satellite and network control and management systems from EADS Astrium Ltd. Up to 1,900 UK jobs will have been created or sustained on the Skynet 5 programme.

Paradigm Services has been providing global Welfare communications services to the UK MOD since October 1

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