On 2 April 2013, Astrium successfully brought its Skynet 5D satellite into service following its launch on an Ariane 5 in December 2012. It has been positioned over the Middle East at 53 degrees East – taking the place of Skynet 5B – becoming Astrium Services’ most active milsatcom satellite. Its larger fuel tanks will enable it to be repositioned more frequently to meet operational needs. The Skynet fleet now comprises eight satellites: Skynet 5A, 5B, 5C and 5D, combined with three Skynet 4 satellites (C, E and F) and one NATO IV satellite (see below for orbital positions). The 10 UHF channels on Skynet 5D have already been fully sold to customers including Harris CapRock and the Netherland’s Ministry of Defence.
© EADS 2013