HC Deb 09 February 1998 vol 306 c68W
21. Mr. Key

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he will announce his decision between Trimilsatcom and Skynet 5 as a procurement option for the next generation military satellite communications system; and if he will make a statement. [26115]

Mr. Spellar

The planned next generation of UK military communications satellites is known as SKYNET 5. In December 1997, the UK, France and Germany signed a Memorandum of Understanding envisaging a collaborative programme, TRIMILSATCOM, for the procurement of a common solution for all three nations' operational requirements. Proposals from industry for a Project Definition phase have been invited and are due to be submitted shortly. Currently, TRIMILSATCOM is the preferred approach for meeting the UK's SKYNET 5 requirement, although a national programme remains an option. It is expected that a decision on the way ahead will be taken later this year.