The US Navy has accepted the third Lockheed Martin mobile user objective system (MUOS) satellite, following the completion of on-orbit testing.
The MUOS-3 satellite is designed to provide a secure military communications network for mobile troops. The system has capabilities similar to smart phones, including simultaneous and prioritised voice, video, and data features.
Lockheed Martin narrowband communications vice-president Iris Bombelyn said: "MUOS is a game-changer in communications for every branch of our military, which all have mobile users who will benefit from these new capabilities.
"This latest satellite will expand the MUOS network's coverage over more than three-quarters of the globe, including significantly more coverage north and south than the current legacy voice-only system."
Aimed at replacing the ultra-high frequency (UHF) follow-on system, MUOS will provide 16 times the capacity of the legacy system.
The system comprises four ground stations worldwide, software to manage the network, and a wideband code division multiple access waveform.
This MUOS-3 was launched in January from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, US.
MUOS-3 is currently being relocated to its on-orbit operational slot for operational acceptance.
The system will complete multiservice operational evaluations in December, and is scheduled to achieve full operational capability in 2017.
Once the satellite is approved for operational use, the MUOS-3, will join with the MUOS-1 and MUOS-2 satallites already on-orbit.
Image: MUOS-4, the next satellite scheduled to join the MUOS network later this year. Photo: courtesy of Lockheed Martin Corporation.