Lockheed Martin Prepares to Enhance Military Satcom with New MUOS Satellites

In a major step towards bolstering military communications, the U.S. Space Force has granted Lockheed Martin a significant contract for the initial phase of enhancing the Mobile User Objective System (MUOS). This $66 million contract kickstarts the Service Life Extension (SLE) Program which aims to maintain and improve the UHF communications provided by the current MUOS satellite constellation.

Lockheed Martin, a pioneering aerospace company, is known for its role in constructing and managing the MUOS constellation, consisting of five satellites, four of which are active and one reserved as a spare. These satellites are pivotal in delivering secure and reliable voice and data transmission capabilities for U.S. military operations around the globe. With the integration of two additional MUOS satellites into the fleet, Lockheed plans to extend these critical services well into the 2030s while also supporting legacy UHF channels.

Announced on February 2nd, the contract marks the commencement of a one-year phase focusing on minimizing risks and shaping the early design for the forthcoming satellites. This initial phase could be followed by a six-month extension if necessary. In anticipation of the next decade, the SLE program’s second competitive phase will concentrate on the final design, production, rigorous testing of the spacecraft, and its eventual delivery to the U.S. Space Force. The goal is to have these enhancements in operation and ready for launch by 2030.

Lockheed Martin Space’s vice president for Connectivity, Transport, and Access missions commended the MUOS network for its revolutionary impact on military communications, delivering unparalleled clarity and continuity in voice, video, and data transfers to mobile forces worldwide. The program is a testament to enduring American technological innovation and the nation’s commitment to maintaining robust and secure communication channels for its defense forces.

FAQs About Lockheed Martin’s Contract for MUOS Satellite Constellation Enhancement

What is the MUOS?
The Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) is a satellite constellation designed to provide secure and reliable ultra-high frequency (UHF) communication capabilities for U.S. military operations worldwide. It delivers voice and data transmission services for mobile forces.

Who has been awarded the contract for the MUOS enhancement?
Lockheed Martin, an aerospace company with a history in constructing and managing the MUOS constellation, has been granted the contract to work on the Service Life Extension (SLE) Program for these satellites.

How much is the contract worth?
The contract is valued at $66 million for the initial phase of the SLE Program.

How many satellites are currently in the MUOS constellation?
There are currently five satellites in the MUOS constellation, with four of them active and one reserved as a spare.

What is the purpose of the Service Life Extension Program?
The SLE Program aims to maintain and extend the communications services provided by the MUOS constellation into the 2030s, including support for legacy UHF channels.

What does the initial phase of the SLE Program involve?
The initial phase focuses on risk reduction and early design efforts for two new MUOS satellites and may include a six-month extension, if needed.

When is the second phase of the SLE Program expected to take place?
Following the initial phase, the second competitive phase will address the final design, production, testing of spacecraft, and the delivery to the U.S. Space Force, aiming to have enhancements ready by 2030.

What will the enhanced MUOS program contribute to military communications?
The enhanced MUOS program will continue to provide unprecedented clarity and continuity in voice, video, and data transmission to mobile forces globally, thereby supporting the nation’s defense with robust and secure communication channels.

Definitions:

Service Life Extension (SLE) Program: A program aimed at extending the operational services and lifespan of an existing system, in this case, the MUOS satellite constellation.
UHF communications: Ultra-High Frequency communications, referring to the radio wave frequencies used for secure and stable transmission of military communications.
Satellite constellation: A group of satellites working together as a system to deliver comprehensive coverage for communication or other purposes.

Suggested Related Links:

Lockheed Martin – The aerospace company awarded the contract for the MUOS SLE Program.
U.S. Space Force – The branch of the U.S. military that oversees space-related defense initiatives, including the satellite communications domain.