United Launch Alliance (ULA) has successfully launched the US Navy's fourth mobile user objective system (MUOS-4) satellite from the naval spacecraft operations control facility in Cape Canaveral air force station, Florida.
The Lockheed Martin-built MUOS-4 was launched abroad ULA Atlas V rocket after a two-day delay due to tropical storm. The launch was earlier scheduled on 31 August.
Communications Satellite Program Office space division director Nina Tran said: "With the launch of MUOS-4 we're going to deliver that worldwide coverage and communication service for users.
"The legacy payload we have on MUOS satellites allows a smooth transition to a newer, better MUOS capability."
MUOS-4 is the next satellite scheduled to join the navy's MUOS secure communications network that comprises orbiting satellites and relay ground stations.
Over the next several days, the satellite will transition to reach its geosynchronous orbit location approximately 22,000 miles above Earth.
Following this, the satellite's solar arrays and antennas will be deployed to begin on-orbit testing.
With operational MUOS terminals, the mobile military forces will be able to seamlessly connect beyond line-of-sight worldwide and into the global information grid.
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.
Expected to be launched in 2016, MUOS-5 is on-orbit wideband code division multiple access (WCDMA) spare with additional legacy system capability.
Image: Lockheed Martin-built MUOS-4 will join the US navy's MUOS secure communications network. Photo: courtesy of Lockheed Martin.