Lockheed Martin has delivered the fifth mobile user objective system (MUOS) satellite to the US Navy.
The MUOS is an advanced narrowband tactical satellite communications system, which is designed to improve secure mobile satellite communications for US military forces.
The company has collaborated with the US Navy’s Communications Satellite Programme Office, PMW 146, to hand over full operational control of the MUOS satellite to the Naval Satellite Operations Center (NAVSOC).
Lockheed Martin successfully completed the on-orbit testing and delivery of all the operational products required to ‘fly’ the satellite.
The US Navy previously configured the legacy ultra-high frequency (UHF) payload for testing in April in collaboration with the Army Forces Strategic Command (ARSTRAT).
The UHF system is one of two communications payloads used by the MUOS-5 satellite.
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MUOS-5’s successful delivery to NAVSOC has enabled ARSTRAT to provide the payload’s final configurations in support of the navy’s legacy UHF satellite communications mission.
The narrowband UHF communications is eventually expected to transition to next-generation wideband code division multiple access (WCDMA) capabilities.
In order to facilitate the transition, all five on-orbit MUOS satellites were intentionally designed with two communications payloads to support both legacy UHF and WCDMA.
Lockheed Martin Narrowband Communications director Mark Woempner said: “Today, every Combatant Command in aircraft, ships, submarines, ground vehicles, as well as by troops in the field and special operations, rely upon secure, beyond-line-of-sight UHF satellite communications provided by the Navy.
“ARSTRAT’s final configuration of MUOS-5’s UHF legacy payload allows the satellite to fully support our military forces in these Combatant Commands.”
The MUOS network of five on-orbit satellites and four relay ground stations is set to deliver more than ten times the communications capacity of the legacy UHF satellite system once fully operational.
MUOS users will be able to easily connect beyond the line-of-sight worldwide and into the global information grid, in addition to the defence switched network.
The satellite’s network already offers near-global coverage, including communications into polar regions.
It has also demonstrated its ability to successfully communicate integrated broadcast service (IBS) messages.