U.S. Navy launches next-generation military communications satellite

The U.S. Navy recently launched the fourth of five planned Mobile User Objective System (MUOS-4) satellites, designed to provide military forces with reliable and secure global communications.

The MUOS-4 will be part of a next-generation, narrowband tactical satellite communications system that will provide American military members around the world simultaneous, high-speed voice and data capabilities.

MUOS, a project of both the Navy’s Program Executive Office for Space Systems and its Communications Satellite Program, will replace the UHF Follow-On (UFO) satellite system currently in use. MUOS promises to provide up to 16 times the capacity of the UFO system.

The Navy brought together a number of defense and aerospace contractors to make the project a reality. The satellites themselves were designed and built by Lockheed Martin, with the latest launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. United Launch Alliance Atlas V rockets have been used to blast the satellites into space.

Aerojet Rocketdyne also made major contributions to the satellite delivery efforts with five AJ60 solid rocket boosters, an upper-stage engine, pressurant tanks and upper stage thrusters.

"Congratulations to the entire team for the successful delivery of the MUOS-4 into orbit," Steve Bouley, vice president of Space Launch Systems at Aerojet Rocketdyne, said of the satellite launch. “The combined effort of everyone involved makes it possible for troops deployed worldwide to better communicate with one another in their mission to keep us safe from harm."
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