Lockheed-Built MUOS-5 Delivers Beyond-Line-of-Sight Comms Service to Soldiers

The fifth Mobile User Objective System satellite that Lockheed Martin built for the U.S. Navy has begun to provide beyond-line-of-sight communications capability to warfighters with ultra-high frequency radios.

Lockheed said Monday the Navy collaborated with the Army Forces Strategic Command to configure the UHF payload of the MUOS-5 satellite to provide UHF narrowband communications services to troops aboard ships, aircraft, ground vehicles and submarines and soldiers in the battlefield.

MUOS-5 launched aboard a United Launch Alliance-built Atlas V rocket in June 2016 to complete the service branch’s network constellation.

“With MUOS 1-4 already on orbit providing near global [Wideband Code Division Multiple Access] coverage, MUOS-5 will actively support legacy UHF communications and serve as an on-orbit WCDMA spare,” said Mark Woempner, director of narrowband communications systems at Lockheed.

Woempner noted the company started the combatant commander testing phase in July 2016 and plans to bring the MUOS satellite constellation to full operational capability for the military branch.

Lockheed completed the on-orbit testing phase of MUOS-5 on Jan. 19 months after the satellite fielded its antennas and solar arrays on Oct. 30, 2016 for mission operations.

The MUOS satellite constellation is designed to allow users to transmit video, voice and mission data through an internet protocol-based system as well as connect to the Defense Switched Network and Global Information Grid.

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