For all you comms types: BBC News - Skynet 5 The British military is set to take one of its most significant steps into the digital age with the launch of the first Skynet 5 satellite. The spacecraft will deliver secure, high-bandwidth communications for UK and "friendly" forces across the globe. It is part of a multi-billion-pound project that will allow the Army, Royal Navy and RAF to pass much more data, faster between command centres. The Skynet 5A platform lifts off from Kourou, French Guiana, on Saturday. It will fly atop an Ariane 5-ECA launcher that is scheduled to leave Earth at 1925 local time (2225 GMT). A second and third spacecraft will be added at a later date to complete the constellation. Every piece of satellite bandwidth is valuable and the military is always hungry for more Bill Sweetman, Jane's Information Group "It's a groundbreaking military satellite system," explained Patrick Wood, who has led the development of the spacecraft for manufacturer EADS Astrium. "It's going to provide five times the capacity that the previous system provided, and allow the military to do things they just haven't been able to do in the past," he told BBC News.