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Fourth MUOS Satellite Prepares for Launch

MUOS-4 encapsulated in its protective launch vehicle fairing for its Aug. 31, 2015 launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. United Launch Alliance Photo

MUOS-4 encapsulated in its protective launch vehicle fairing for its Aug. 31, 2015 launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. United Launch Alliance Photo

The Navy’s fourth satellite of its planned next generation communication constellation is being ready for a planned launch later this month, contractor Lockheed Martin said on Thursday.

The fourth Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) satellite is set to launch on Aug 31. as part of the $7.8 billion, five satellite network from Cape Canaveral, Fla.

“Delivery of this fourth satellite for the U.S. Navy completes the initial MUOS constellation and provides near-global coverage for the network,” said Iris Bombelyn, vice president of Narrowband Communications at Lockheed Martin, in a press release.
“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 is the planned constellation 1990s era Ultra High Frequency Follow-On (UFO) constellation. The new satellites promise ten times the transfer rates of the UFO net with speeds of up to 384 kbs.

The five MUOS satellites will plan to be used in conjunction with ground stations Hawaii, Italy, Western Australia and Chesapeake, Va.

In June the service accepted the third satellite into service.

Earlier this week General Dynamics announced the Navy ordered 56 MUOS compatible AN/USC-61(C) Digital Modular Radios (DMRs) for the service’s ships.

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Categories: Aviation, Budget Industry, News & Analysis, U.S. Navy
Sam LaGrone

About Sam LaGrone

Sam LaGrone is the editor of USNI News. He was formerly the U.S. Maritime Correspondent for the Washington D.C. bureau of Jane’s Defence Weekly and Jane’s Navy International. He has covered legislation, acquisition and operations for the Sea Services and spent time underway with the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and the Canadian Navy.