CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla., Feb. 27 (UPI) -- A new satellite by Lockheed Martin for improved U.S. military communications has been successfully launched into orbit.
The satellite, the first of a planned constellation of Mobile User Objective System satellites, was launched Friday from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
MUOS satellites will replace Ultra-High Frequency Follow-On satellites and provide simultaneous voice, video and data communications for mobile warfighters.
"MUOS is a revolutionary new satellite system that will provide unprecedented new communications capabilities for the armed forces," said Kevin Bilger, Lockheed Martin vice president and general manager of Global Communications Systems.
"We look forward to executing a smooth and efficient on-orbit checkout, paving the way for operational use."
The MUOS provides a 16-fold increase in transmission throughput over the current UFO satellite system. A single MUOS satellite will provide four times the capacity of the entire legacy UFO constellation of 10 satellites.
Lockheed said the first MUOS launched Friday for the U.S. Navy, and associated ground system, will provide initial on-orbit capability this year. The constellation of four MUOS satellites will be fully operational in 2015.