01 Nov 2019

MUOS secure communications satellite system ready for operational use

A new global, military, satellite-based cellular network designed to revolutionise secure communications for mobile forces is now ready for full operational use in warfighting environments.

The Mobile User Objective System (MUOS), developed by prime contractor Lockheed Martin with ground systems provider General Dynamics Mission Systems, was deemed operationally effective, operationally suitable, and cyber survivable, following successful completion of its Multiservice Operational Test and Evaluation (MOT&E).

This summer’s rigorous MOT&E, conducted by the US Navy’s Commander, Operational Test and Evaluation Force, included participation from the U.S. Army and the US Marine Corps.

Mobile forces have been conducting early testing and training on MUOS since the network was approved for Early Combatant Command use in July 2016. In August 2018, U.S. Strategic Command approved MUOS for expanded operational use to include non-combat operations – like humanitarian response, disaster relief and further training. The successful MOT&E now makes MUOS’ advanced communications capabilities fully available to the tactical warfare environment.

Comprised of five geosynchronous satellites and four geographically dispersed relay ground stations, the MUOS network brings to mobile forces new, simultaneous, crystal-clear voice, video and mission data over a secure high-speed Internet Protocol-based system. Users with new MUOS terminals will be able to seamlessly connect beyond line-of-sight around the world and into the Global Information Grid, as well as into the Defense Switched Network. MUOS also has demonstrated successful communication of Integrated Broadcast Service (IBS) messages.

Kay Sears, Vice President and General Manager of Lockheed Martin’s Military Space line of business, said: “MUOS is a game changer for our troops, providing incredible new voice and data capabilities with near global coverage from satellites that act like cell towers 22,000 miles above the Earth.

“Imagine leaping in technology from a walkie-talkie to a modern cellular phone with global reach. This is what MUOS is for our troops and its network technology will provide more than 10 times the communications capacity the legacy UHF SATCOM system can provide.”

image: MUOS-4 Encapsulates Prior to Launch © Lockheed Martin

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