Northrop has announced its withdrawal from the narrowband part of the SKYNET military satellite communications program tender. The decision comes after the company partnered with Airbus to bid for the wideband component of the programme.
Last month, Northrop and Airbus agreed on a strategic partnership to collaborate on the bid for the SKYNET wideband portion. However, the withdrawal from the narrowband tender now leaves Thales Alenia Space and Thales UK as the only contender for this part of the project.
Northrop stated that after thorough review of the invitation to negotiate for the SKYNET narrowband program, the company has decided to withdraw from procurement. The reasons behind the company’s withdrawal were not disclosed.
A spokesperson from the UK Ministry of Defence confirmed that the SKYNET 6 programme is still in progress and will deliver the next generation of military satellite communications for the UK. Both the narrowband and wideband procurement processes are ongoing.
SKYNET is a critical part of the UK’s military infrastructure, providing essential secure communications capabilities for both operations and personnel. The programme aims to enhance the UK’s satellite communications capabilities and ensure the military has reliable and resilient communication channels.
With Northrop’s withdrawal from the narrowband tender, Thales Alenia Space and Thales UK now face less competition. Both companies will continue their efforts to secure the contract and contribute to the advancement of the SKYNET programme.