Lockheed Martin has encapsulated the US Navy’s fifth Mobile User Objective System (MUOS-5) satellite in its protective launch vehicle prior to its scheduled launch on 24 June.

To be launched aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket, MUOS-5 is the next satellite to join the navy’s existing network of orbiting satellites including MUOS-1, MUOS-2, MUOS-3, and MUOS-4, and four operational relay ground stations.

Lockheed Martin Narrowband Communications mission area programme director Mark Woempner said: "Like its predecessors, MUOS-5 has two payloads to support both these new wideband code division multiple access (WCDMA) waveform capabilities, as well as the legacy ultra high frequency (UHF) satellite system, used by many mobile forces today.

"MUOS-5 has two payloads to support WCDMA waveform capabilities, as well as the UHF satellite system."

"On orbit, MUOS-5 will augment the constellation as a WCDMA spare, while actively supporting the legacy UHF system."

The satellite is capable of offering simultaneous, crystal-clear voice, video and mission data, over a secure high-speed internet protocol-based system.

The operational MUOS terminals allow mobile military forces to seamlessly connect beyond line-of-sight around the world and into the global information grid.

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The navy’s MUOS secure communications network provides near-global coverage, including communications deep into polar regions.

Lockheed noted that more than 55,000 radio terminals that are currently operational can be upgraded to be MUOS-compatible.

The satellite was manufactured at Lockheed’s facility in Sunnyvale, California, US.

The MUOS programme is managed by the Navy’s Programme Executive Office for Space Systems and its Communications Satellite Programme Office at San Diego in California.

Image: MUOS-5 completes constellation for US Navy’s new network. Photo: courtesy of United Launch Alliance.