Lockheed Martin has encapsulated the US Navy’s fourth Mobile User Objective System (MUOS-4) satellite in its protective launch vehicle prior to the scheduled launch on 31 August.

MUOS-4 is the next satellite scheduled to join the navy’s MUOS secure communications network that comprises orbiting satellites and relay ground stations.

Lockheed Martin Narrowband Communications vice-president Iris Bombelyn said: "Delivery of this fourth satellite for the US Navy completes the initial MUOS constellation and provides near-global coverage for the network.

"For our mobile forces, that means for the first time they will be able to have secure, high-fidelity voice conversations, networked team calls and data exchange, including video, with anyone around the world connected with a MUOS terminal."

MUOS-4 will be launched aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

With operational MUOS terminals, the mobile military forces will be able to seamlessly connect beyond line-of-sight around the globe and into the global information grid.

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"Delivery of this fourth satellite for the US Navy completes the initial MUOS constellation."

The MUOS’ new smart phone-like capabilities include simultaneous crystal-clear voice, video, and mission data, on a high-speed internet protocol-based system.

The first three satellites, MUOS-1, MUOS-2, and MUOS-3, were launched respectively in 2012, 2013 and January this year.

The fifth satellite is expected to be launched in 2016. MUOS-5 is on-orbit wideband code division multiple access (WCDMA) spare with additional legacy system capability.

According to Lockheed, more than 55,000 currently fielded radio terminals can be upgraded to be MUOS-compatible.

Image: MUOS-4 is the next satellite scheduled to join the US Navy’s MUOS secure communications network. Photo: courtesy of United Launch Alliance.