Lockheed Martin-built Military Communications Satellite Marks 20 Years in Service

SUNNYVALE, Calif., July 30, 2012 -- The U.S. Air Force’s Defense Satellite Communications System (DSCS) B12 satellite, built by Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT], has reached 20 years on-orbit, double its operational design life. The B12 satellite will continue to serve in a reserve capacity providing secure and reliable communications capabilities for the warfighter.

Launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., on July 2, 1992, the B12 satellite is one of 14 DSCS III spacecraft designed and built by Lockheed Martin for the Air Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif.

The DSCS constellation provides uninterrupted secure voice and high-data rate communications to Department of Defense users; essential tools in monitoring events and deploying and sustaining forces anywhere in the world.  The DSCS III constellation in its entirety has the longest total on-orbit operational experience of any U.S. military communications satellite constellation.

“The high performance and longevity of the DSCS III constellation is a true testament to the joint U.S. Air Force/Lockheed Martin team dedicated to providing the warfighter with secure and reliable satellite communications,” said Mark Valerio, vice president and general manager of Lockheed Martin’s Military Space line of business. “Lockheed Martin has a distinguished 100-year track record of solid performance and the DSCS III constellation is no different. We are continuing to deliver innovative solutions for our customers.”

To meet increased military demand for space-based communications, Lockheed Martin is also progressing on the Air Force’s Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) satellite system and the Navy’s Mobile User Objective System (MUOS).  The AEHF system will provide global, highly secure, protected, survivable communications for warfighters. MUOS is a next-generation narrowband tactical satellite communications system designed to significantly improve ground communications for U.S. forces on the move.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs about 120,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation's net sales for 2011 were $46.5 billion.


The DSCS III, a U.S. military communications satellite constellation, B-12 satellite has reached 20 years on-orbit, double its operational design life. (Artist Rendering)