Air Force successfully launches upgraded communications satellite built by Lockheed Martin Missiles & Space
CAPE CANAVERAL AIR STATION, FL, 21-JAN-00 -- The U.S. Air Force successfully launched the eleventh of 14 communications satellites, built by Lockheed Martin Missiles & Space, yesterday at 8:03 p.m. from Cape Canaveral Air Station, Fla. The Defense Satellite Communications System (DSCS) III B8 spacecraft, the first of four remaining super high-frequency communications satellites to feature Service Life Enhancement Program (SLEP) upgrades, will provide improved, uninterrupted, secure voice and high-data rate communications to its Department of Defense (DoD) and national security users. Missiles & Space will supply three more of these satellites to the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif., over the next year.
The Missiles & Space DSCS team is proud to provide another satellite to the backbone of U.S. national security communications worldwide system, said Julie Sattler, Lockheed Martin Missiles & Space DSCS program manager. This third generation DSCS III SLEP satellite will provide a robust anti-jam, nuclear-hardened capability that supports the DoD's worldwide communication requirements. It will also provide uninterrupted high-data rate communications to support globally distributed fixed and mobile DoD users, the Diplomatic Telecommunications Service and the White House Communications Agency.
The DSCS III SLEP satellite will provide a 200-percent increase in communication capacity with its new 50-watt Traveling Wave Tube Amplifiers. Its new solar cells will provide more than 1700 watts of solar array power for the upgraded satellite. Additionally, the new satellite will offer greater flexibility for mixing high and low-power users made possible through its new variable gain-step attenuation.
The overall DSCS system is the responsibility of the U.S. Space Command. The U.S. Space Command ensures conformance with Military Satellite Communications architectural planning, and the timely and cost effective integration of the ground-, ship-, airborne-, and space-segments of the DSCS program based on guidance from the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Missiles & Space and the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center are the primary satellite developers. The Army Program Manager for Satellite Communications is responsible for the DSCS Satellite Configuration Control Element. Satellite operations are carried out by the Air Force and Army Space Command elements. Lockheed Martin Missiles & Space is under contract to the Air Force for the DSCS satellite design, development, test and fabrication.
Missiles & Space is responsible for the launch three more DSCS III SLEP satellites. The next DSCS III launch is tentatively scheduled for Oct. 12, 2000, from Cape Canaveral Air Station, Fla.
Lockheed Martin Missiles & Space, Sunnyvale, Calif., is an operating company within Lockheed Martin Space Systems, headquartered in Bethesda, Md. It is a leading supplier of satellites to military, civil government and commercial communications organizations around the world. These spacecraft have enhanced military and civilian communications; provided new, extensive and timely weather data; studied the Earth and space; and furnished new data for thousands of scientists studying our planet and the space around it.