Anglo-French space alliance enlists Flagship

Matra Marconi Space has handed a pounds 100,000 lobbying brief to the Flagship Group, to help it bid for a pounds 2 billion government defence contract.

Matra Marconi Space has handed a pounds 100,000 lobbying brief to

the Flagship Group, to help it bid for a pounds 2 billion government

defence contract.



The company, a joint venture between French aero-space giant Matra and

the UK’s Marconi, is bidding against a rival consortium for Skynet 5, a

long-term satellite-based military communications project run by the

Ministry of Defence.



Flagship board director Simon Elliott will head a team of five working

on the account. The win came without a competitive pitch, following two

earlier tranches of contract lobbying by Elliott while at Shandwick in

the 1990s. In 1995, Elliott worked on a Marconi-led attempt to supply

the MoD with a new attack helicopter. In 1996 his team won Marconi the

contract to supply air-launched anti-tank missile Brimstone.



The pounds 2 billion contract includes a space-based satellite, ground

handling station and range of communications infrastructures.



Skynet 5 will replace the Skynet 4 system, for which there is no

incumbent contractor since the brief was merely to supply the satellite,

rather than to establish and support a global military communications

network.



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