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SSTL to build satellite for UK's project MINERVA

MINERVA is the foundation for the development of a network of satellites for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance. (MoD Crown Copyright 2022)

UK Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) has awarded Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) a GBP22 million (USD28 million) contract to design and build a new satellite under project MINERVA, DE&S announced on 4 April.

SSTL has been contracted to deliver a research and development concept demonstrator satellite for launch by mid-2023, a DE&S spokesperson told Janes, addingthat the launch location has not been determined yet.

The spokesperson said that an invitation to negotiate was released in November 2021, with an SSTL bid received in December 2021. A contract was issued in January 2022.

Project MINERVA ā€“ an innovation operational concept demonstrator ā€“ is the foundation for the development of a network of satellites for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) purposes that will integrate space with land, air, sea, and cyber.

GBP127 million will be invested during the next four years into the programme, ensuring the UK has the processing power, radio frequencies, imaging capabilities, and data streams to deliver timely intelligence in tandem with its allies, particularly the US, according to the UK Defence Space Strategy.

Project MINERVA will evolve into the GBP970 million multisatellite constellation ISTARI programme, which will support ISR applications for military operations.

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