Lockheed Martin-Built Military Communications Satellite Marks 15 Years In Service
SUNNYVALE, Calif, 12/11/2008 -- The U.S. Air Force's Defense Satellite Communications System (DSCS) B10 satellite, built by Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT], has achieved 15 years of on orbit operations, far exceeding its original 10 year design life.
The entire DSCS constellation, which provides secure and reliable communications service to the warfighter, will surpass 200 years of cumulative on-orbit service in early 2009, the largest total operational experience of any U.S. military communications satellite constellation.
Lockheed Martin designed and built 14 DSCS spacecraft for the Military Satellite Communications Wing at the Air Force's Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif. The system 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 satellites on-orbit today have a design life of 10-years, however the team's ability to better estimate the on-board fuel, combined with new techniques for maximizing fuel usage, allows the DSCS satellites to exceed their design life by several years.
In addition to the DSCS constellation's longevity, the Lockheed Martin-built Milstar constellation continues to provide secure, reliable and robust communications to U.S. and Allied Forces around the globe. By April 2009, the Milstar constellation will surpass 50 total years of cumulative on-orbit operations.
We are extremely proud of our demonstrated performance providing the warfighter with secure and reliable satellite communications, said Leonard F. Kwiatkowski, Lockheed Martin's vice president and general manager of Global Communications Systems. The DSCS program and Milstar systems are true national assets. As they continue to provide outstanding performance, we look forward to the constellations playing a pivotal role in national security for years to come.
Lockheed Martin is also progressing on the Department of Defense's highly secure communications satellite system, the Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) program. As the successor to Milstar, AEHF will increase data rates by a factor of five, permitting transmission of more tactical military communications, such as real-time video, battlefield maps and targeting data. The first Lockheed Martin-built AEHF spacecraft has completed initial thermal vacuum testing and is planned for delivery to the Air Force in 2010.
The company is leveraging its unparalleled expertise fielding proven technologies for advanced military communications systems, as it leads a team in the competition for the next-generation Transformational Satellite Communications System (TSAT). TSAT will ultimately replace the
Milstar and AEHF constellations and provide thousands of military users with wideband, highly mobile, beyond line-of-sight protected communications to support network-centric operations for the future battlefield.
Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, a major operating unit of Lockheed Martin Corporation, designs, develops, tests, manufactures, and operates a full spectrum 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; laser radar; fleet ballistic missiles; and missile defense systems.
Headquartered in Bethesda, MD, Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 140,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation reported 2007 sales of $41.9 billion.