Lockheed Martin-Built DSCS Satellites Mark 175 Years On Orbit
SUNNYVALE, Calif., 21-NOV-06 -- A U.S. Air Force/Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] team announced today that the Defense Satellite Communications System (DSCS) III constellation, which provides vital communications capabilities to America's military forces worldwide, has surpassed 175-years of on-orbit service.
The DSCS constellation, which includes nine active satellites in geostationary orbit, provides uninterrupted secure voice and high-data rate communications to Department of Defense and other government users, essential tools in monitoring events and deploying and sustaining forces anywhere in the world.
Each DSCS III satellite has a design life of 10-years, although several of the DSCS satellites on-orbit today have far exceeded their design life and continue to perform with outstanding results. The DSCS team was recently named a winner of the 2006 Chief of Staff Team Excellence Award by the U.S. Air Force for developing innovative methods for estimating and maximizing the fuel on board the DSCS satellite constellation.
“We are very proud of the DSCS program's impressive record of performance and longevity, said Leonard F. Kwiatkowski, vice president and general manager of Military Space Programs at Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company. “DSCS has served as the backbone of military communications capabilities and will continue to play a pivotal role on our national security for many years to come.”
Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Sunnyvale, Calif., is the prime contractor for the DSCS III program. The company designed and built 14 DSCS spacecraft for the Military Satellite Communications Systems Wing at the Air Force's Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles, Calif. The final four spacecraft featured Service Life Enhancement Program (SLEP) upgrades designed to provide users with improved and uninterrupted secure voice and high data rate communications. The last satellite was successfully launched on August 29, 2003.
Lockheed Martin is also progressing on the Department of Defense's highly secure communications satellite system known as the Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) system, with development of the first AEHF satellite proceeding on schedule towards an April 2008 launch. AEHF is the successor to the Lockheed Martin-built Milstar secure communications system which has reached 36 years of combined successful operations on-orbit.
The company is leveraging its proven record of building advanced military communications systems for the next-generation Transformational Satellite Communications System (TSAT), which will ultimately replace the DSCS, Milstar and Advanced EHF programs. The Lockheed Martin/Northrop Grumman TSAT Space Segment team is currently working under a Risk Reduction and System Definition phase, with the Air Force expected to award a multi-billion dollar development contract to a single contractor in 2008.
Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, a major operating unit of Lockheed Martin Corporation, designs, develops, tests, manufactures and operates a variety of
advanced-technology systems for national security, civil and commercial customers. Chief products include human space flight systems; a full range of remote sensing, navigation, meteorological and communications satellites and instruments; space observatories and interplanetary spacecraft; launch vehicles, fleet ballistic missiles; and missile defense systems.