24 Oct 03. Paradigm Secure Communications Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of EADS, has today signed the £2.5bn Skynet 5 Private Finance Initiative (PFI) contract with the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD). An entirely new concept, Paradigm is the first ever company to deliver secure military satellite communications services under a PFI approach.
This unique PFI approach provides the MOD with significant benefits, for example allowing the use of system capacity as and when required, enabling a hi-tech solution with regular technology upgrades and also ensuring that risk is transferred to the contractor. Skynet 5 will prove better value for money than asset procurement, as Paradigm will offer spare capacity to MOD-approved overseas governments and international organisations such as NATO.
Malcolm Peto, Managing Director, Paradigm Secure Communications Limited, said “Paradigm is delighted to have achieved contract signature and made such a successful start to the programme. We recently took over operation of the existing UK Skynet 4 satellites and ground segment, and from today, are delivering services to a number of overseas customers. Paradigm and its team members now look forward to developing this innovative concept into a reality and delivering secure, reliable, cost effective communications services to UK and other nations’ Armed Forces around the world.”
The Skynet 5 contract extends through to 2018 and the programme revenues could be worth more than £2.5bn over this time. The Skynet 5 contract is awarded to Paradigm Secure Communications, the contractual entity responsible for meeting the UK MOD requirements; for seeking to capture overseas business; and for the relationship with its lead banks (BNP-Paribas, CIBC and HSBC) and financial advisor Citigroup. Paradigm Secure Communications’ two primary subcontractors are Paradigm Services for end-to-end service delivery, including network maintenance, customer support and technical refresh, and EADS Astrium for the design and implementation of at least two new Skynet 5 satellites, upgrades to existing UK ground control stations, provision of a new fleet of land terminals and full upgrades for the SCOT communications terminals onboard Royal Navy ships.
The Paradigm team brings together industry leaders in the fields of communications and service provision including Serco for satellite operations, LogicaCMG for software infrastructure, EADS Telecom (Cogent DSN) for the baseband network and encryption systems, General Dynamics Decision Systems for Iridium services, Stratos for Inmarsat services and Cable & Wireless for commercial satcom services.
The Paradigm Companies
The Paradigm team was selected as the MOD’s ‘Preferred Bidder’ – part of the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) process – for the provision of military satellite communications (milsatcoms) services in Spring 2002. All parties involved have spent the time since then finalising the details of this major programme, which is the first time milsatcoms have been delivered in this way.
Paradigm Secure Communications is leading the Paradigm team and was formed in 1999 to address the emerging military satellite communications services market. For Skynet 5, Paradigm Secure Communications will contract with Paradigm Services for full service delivery, and EADS Astrium for the Skynet 5 satellites and ground systems. Operating from sites at Stevenage, Portsmouth and Oakhanger, and co-located with the Defence Communication Services Agency (DCSA) at Corsham, Paradigm Secure Communications and Paradigm Services are wholly owned subsidiaries of the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company, EADS.
Under Skynet 5, Paradigm will deliver a secure global satellite communications service over a 15 year contract period. The programme will provide a range of services, including global mobile voice communications, video conferencing, multimedia-based communications and broadcast communications, as wel