U.S. defence company Northrop Grumman has decided to withdraw from the competition to supply narrowband military satellite communications for Britain’s armed forces, according to the Financial Times. Last month, Northrop had partnered with Airbus to bid for the wideband component of Britain’s SKYNET military satellite communications program.
This withdrawal leaves Thales Alenia Space and Thales UK as the only remaining contender in the competition for the narrowband part of the tender. Northrop stated that after a thorough review of the invitation to negotiate for the SKYNET narrowband military satellite communications program, the company made the decision to withdraw from procurement.
The UK Ministry of Defence spokesperson confirmed that the SKYNET 6 program is still ongoing and will deliver the UK’s next generation of military satellite communications. The procurement processes for both the narrowband and wideband components are continuing.
This news comes after Northrop and Airbus had announced their strategic partnership to bid for the wideband component of the SKYNET program, as stated in an October 23 statement.
It is worth noting that Northrop Grumman is a prominent global aerospace and defense technology company, while Thales Alenia Space and Thales UK are leading space communication companies. The outcome of this competition could have significant implications for the future of military satellite communications in the UK.