The Mobile User Objective System (MUOS), developed by prime contractor Lockheed Martin with ground systems provider General Dynamics Mission Systems (GDMS), has been deemed operationally effective, operationally suitable and cyber-survivable, following successful completion of its Multiservice Operational Test and Evaluation (MOT&E) conducted this summer by the US Navy’s Commander, Operational Test and Evaluation Force, included participation from the US Army and US Marine Corps.
Mobile forces have been conducting early testing and training on MUOS since the network was approved for Early Combatant Command use in July 2016. In August 2018, US Strategic Command approved MUOS for expanded operational use to include non-combat operations – like humanitarian response, disaster relief and further training. The successful MOT&E now makes MUOS’ advanced communications capabilities fully available to the tactical warfare environment.
Comprised of five geosynchronous satellites and four geographically dispersed relay ground stations, the MUOS network brings to mobile forces new, simultaneous, crystal-clear voice, video and mission data over a secure high-speed IP-based system. Users with new MUOS terminals will be able to seamlessly connect beyond line-of-sight around the world and into the Global Information Grid, as well as into the Defense Switched Network. MUOS has also demonstrated successful communication of Integrated Broadcast Service (IBS) messages.
“MUOS is a game changer for our troops, providing incredible new voice and data capabilities with near global coverage from satellites that act like cell towers 22,000 miles above the Earth,” said Kay Sears, Vice President and General Manager of Lockheed Martin’s military space line of business. “Imagine leaping in technology from a walkie-talkie to a modern cellular phone with global reach. This is what MUOS is for our troops and its network technology will provide more than 10 times the communications capacity the legacy UHF SATCOM system can provide.”
“MUOS will provide a level of voice and data communications capability that warfighters have never had using legacy SATCOM systems,” added Manny Mora, Vice President and General Manager for the space and intelligence systems line of business at GDMS. “With voice clarity and data speed rivaling what civilians enjoy on their cellphones, MUOS delivers a tactical communications and operational advantage. Wherever our forces are deployed, MUOS will be there.”
Today MUOS’ satellites, built by Lockheed Martin, provide both the advanced, new Wideband Code Division Multiple Access (WCDMA) waveform and legacy SATCOM UHF communications signals to support troops as they transition to the more versatile cellular network. MUOS’ ground system, built by GDMS, has two locations in the United States, one in Australia and one in Europe – each supporting the system’s global, beyond-line-of-sight, narrowband communications reach.