Navy awards $3 billion deal for tactical satellite system

Navy awards $3 billion deal for tactical satellite system

The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command has awarded a $3.26 billion contract to Lockheed Martin Corp. to build a narrowband satellite system for battlefield communications.

Lockheed Martin beat out Raytheon Co. for the Navy's Mobile User Objective System, a tactical satellite system to support joint and coalition users.

The narrowband satellite system will transmit data at ultrahigh frequencies. The rates are lower than for wideband satellite comm systems but don't require the clear transmission fields. And during battle, this is necessary if data streams must travel through dense topography or buildings, for instance.

MUOS will include mobile and fixed-site terminals linked via one space segment and multiple ground segments.

Two years ago, the San Diego command tapped Lockheed Martin and Raytheon to develop competing architectures under separate $40 million contracts.

MUOS will be a component of the Defense Department's Advanced Narrowband Communications system and during the next two decades will replace the Navy's Ultra-High Frequency Follow-On system.

Lockheed's subcontractors include Boeing Co.'s satellite systems unit of El Segundo, Calif., and General Dynamics Corp.'s C4 systems group of Scottsdale, Ariz.

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