Air Force

August 2, 2012

Lockheed Martin-built military comm satellite marks 20 years in service

The U.S. Air Force’s Defense Satellite Communications System B12 satellite, built by Lockheed Marti, 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., 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 war fighter 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 satellite system and the Navy’s Mobile User Objective System. The AEHF system will provide global, highly secure, protected, survivable communications for war fighters. MUOS is a next-generation narrowband tactical satellite communications system designed to significantly improve ground communications for U.S. forces on the move.

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