U.S. defense company Northrop Grumman has decided to pull out of the competition to supply narrowband military satellite communications for the armed forces of the United Kingdom, as reported by the Financial Times. Northrop Grumman had previously partnered with Airbus in its bid for the project.
Last month, the two companies had announced a strategic partnership to jointly bid for the wideband component of Britain’s SKYNET military satellite communications program. However, Northrop Grumman’s withdrawal from the narrowband part of the tender has left Thales Alenia Space and Thales UK as the sole contenders in the race.
In a statement to the Financial Times, Northrop Grumman stated that after a thorough review of the invitation to negotiate for the SKYNET narrowband military satellite communications program, the company decided to withdraw from the procurement process. The UK Ministry of Defence spokesperson confirmed that the procurement processes for both narrowband and wideband components of the SKYNET 6 program are still ongoing.
The SKYNET 6 program is aimed at delivering the UK’s next generation of military satellite communications. The withdrawal of Northrop Grumman from the competition may have implications for the future development and implementation of the narrowband segment of the program. The decision could also impact the dynamics of the competition, potentially giving Thales Alenia Space and Thales UK an advantage as the sole contender.
It is worth noting that the SKYNET program plays a crucial role in enabling secure and reliable communication for the UK’s armed forces, both nationally and globally. As the procurement process continues, the UK Ministry of Defence will likely evaluate the implications of Northrop Grumman’s withdrawal and make any necessary adjustments to ensure the successful implementation of the SKYNET 6 program.