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MUOS-5 satellite on launch countdown

The U.S. Navy's Mobile User Objective System satellite, made by Lockheed Martin, is scheduled to be launched into orbit Friday morning.

By Richard Tomkins
MUOS-5 satellite on launch countdown
The U.S. Navy's MUOS-5 satellite, made by Lockheed Martin. Photo courtesy Lockheed Martin

CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla., June 23 (UPI) -- The fifth Mobile User Objective System, or MUOS-5, communications satellite for the U.S. Navy is on countdown for launch Friday morning.

The MUOS satellite system, which includes ground relay stations, will revolutionize secure communications for mobile military forces by seamlessly connecting beyond line-of-sight communications around the world into the Global Information Grid and the U.S. military's Defense Switching Network.

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"Users of the legacy satellite communications system can 'talk,' but they are limited to conversations between users under the footprint of the same satellite," said Mark Woempner, director of Lockheed Martin's Narrowband Communications Systems. "MUOS is a game-changer for our forces, establishing a global military cellular network through which they can reach out to each other -- and exchange mission data -- almost anywhere around the world."

MUOS-5, like its orbiting predecessors, is carrying two payloads to support new Wideband Code Division Multiple Access waveform capabilities and the legacy Ultra High Frequency satellite system. It will augment the MUOS constellation as a WCDMA spare, while actively supporting the legacy UHF system now used by many mobile forces today.

Lockheed Martin, maker of the satellite, said that once the MUOS constellation is fully operational it will provide users with 16 times more communications capacity than other systems.

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