U.S. Navy’s MUOS Satellite Completes On-orbit Testing

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The U.S. Navy’s first Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) communications satellite is on track to enter service in August following completion of on-orbit testing in late June, the satellite’s prime contractor, Lockheed Martin Space Systems, announced on July 17.

Launched in late February aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., MUOS-1 will provide next-generation tactical satellite communications. The successful on-orbit checkout was completed on June 21, according Lockheed Martin spokesman Michael Friedman

Lockheed Martin said in a July 17 press release that MUOS is scheduled to enter service in August following completion of a  multiservice operational test and evaluation phase that began in June.

MUOS-1 is the first of five MUOS craft the Navy plans to launch over the next several years to augment and eventually replace the military’s existing UHF satellites, which provide narrowband communications for U.S. forces on the move. The Navy expects the MUOS constellation, which will consist of four satellites plus an on-orbit spare, to achieve initial operational capability in 2015 and provide narrowband service beyond 2025.