Study: New MILSAT strategies needed

July 25, 2013 at 1:59 PM

WASHINGTON, July 25 (UPI) -- A new study on military satellite communications says new strategies are needed to enhance capabilities in a time of budget restraints.

Increasing protected MILSATCOM capacity in the face of anti-access/area-denial capabilities is not the answer, it said.

The study was conducted by the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, a U.S. non-partisan research institute. It offered a number of recommendations on how to bridge the gap between capabilities needed and the funding available in a report titled The Future of MILSATCOM.

Among them:

-- Transition from a two-tier (protected and unprotected) MILSATCOM architecture to a three-tier architecture, extending a lower level of protection to tactical users, while exploring the potential of hosted protected payloads.

-- Pivot to the Pacific in space by inviting key allies in the region to be part of the middle tier architecture to improve their capabilities and interoperability, reduce system costs and complicate the planning of potential adversaries.

The study also recommended consolidation of the various military satellite programs -- including budgets and operations -- to reduce redundancy and overhead costs and establish better system control.

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