MUOS - Mobile User Obj. System

Product Type:

Communications Satellite System

Using Service (US):


Program Status:

In Production

Prime Contractors:

Lockheed Martin Corporation

Specifications DoD Spending FY2015 Budget

MUOS Satellite System

About the MUOS Program:

The Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) is the next generation U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) advanced narrow-band Ultra High Frequency (UHF) communications satellite constellation. MUOS is designed to significantly improve ground communications for U.S. forces on the move. The system consists of four satellites in geosynchronous orbit with one on-orbit spare and a fiber optic terrestrial network connecting four ground stations. The MUOS satellite includes the new networked payload and a separate legacy payload.

MUOS will replace the existing UHF Follow-On (UFO) constellation and provide military users 10 times more communications data rate capability over existing systems - while leveraging 3G mobile communications technology. In fact, a single MUOS satellite will provide four times the capacity of the entire legacy UFO constellation of 10 satellites. UHF satellites each provide 2.4 kilobytes per second of digital voice only, whereas MUOS satellites each provide 348 kilobytes per second and adds a data transmission capability. The MUOS system fully supports legacy UHF SATCOM terminals and Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) terminals, ensuring that users receive the technological advancements needed without major system upgrades.

Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Sunnyvale, California is the prime contractor and systems integrator for the U.S. Navy MUOS program. In September 2004, the company was awarded a $2.1 billion contract to build the first two satellites and associated ground control elements. The Navy has since exercised an option for Lockheed Martin to produce three additional spacecraft, developing four MUOS satellites with one on-orbit spare, and supporting ground systems. MUOS satellites are developed at Lockheed Martin's Commercial Space Systems facility in Newtown, Pennsylvania, while final assembly and test takes place in Sunnyvale. Lockheed Martin's proven A2100 payload serves as the MUOS spacecraft platform. The four MUOS ground stations are built by General Dynamics C4 Systems.

The first MUOS satellite was successfully launched in February 2012 and will, together with the associated ground systems, provide initial on-orbit capability in May 2012, with the four-satellite global MUOS constellation achieving full operational capability in 2015. The second MUOS satellite was successfully launched on July 19, 2013. MUOS #3 is targeted to launch in 2014 - followed by MUOS #4 and MUOS #5 in 2015.

Price/Unit Cost:

In FY 2011, the cost of a MUOS GEO Satellite was approximately $311 million.

Total Cost - Life of Program (LoP):

The total procurement cost of the MUOS program is $2.93 billion (official DoD estimate) + $4.27 billion in research and development (RDT&E) funds, which means the total estimated program cost is $7.20 billion (numbers are aggregated annual funds spent over the life of the program and no price/inflation adjustment was made). This figure excludes military construction (MILCON) costs and Operations & Maintenance (O&M) costs in support of the program in the amount of $34.6 million of $26.8 million, respectively.


MUOS will provide mobile forces with point-to-point and netted communications services with a secure communications-on-the-move capability on a 24-7 basis.

FY 2014 DoD Program:

Funds on-orbit testing for satellite #2; remaining testing and preparation efforts to support launch of satellite #3; and continues production of satellites #4 and #5.

FY 2015 DoD Program:

Funds procurement of Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) for satellite #5; remaining testing and preparation efforts to support launch of satellite #3 scheduled for January 2015; and continues production of satellites #4 and #5, scheduled for launch in August 2015 and October 2016, respectively.

For more information, click to see the Navy FY 2015 DoD MUOS Budget.

Source: U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and Lockheed Martin Corp.

Last Update: November 4, 2014.

By Joakim Kasper Oestergaard Balle /// (

External Resources:

Lockheed Martin's MUOS Site: MUOS

YouTube: Mobile User Objective System | YouTube Videos

Fact Sheet: Mobile User Objective System

Total MUOS Program Cost:

 $7.20 billion  ($2.93B procurement + $4.27B RDT&E)

MUOS Procurement Objective:

  6 satellites  (4 procurement / 2 development)

MUOS U.S. Defense Budget Charts:

DoD Spending on the MUOS Program in FY 2011, FY 2012, FY 2013, FY 2014 and FY 2015
DoD Purchases of MUOS Satellites in FY 2011, FY 2012, FY 2013, FY 2014 and FY 2015
Defense Budget Data

Go to Top

DoD Spending, Procurement and RDT&E: FY 2011/12/13 + Budget for FYs 2014 + 2015

DoD Defense Spending, Procurement, Modifications, Spares, and RDT&E for the MUOS Program

Download Official U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Budget Data:

Purchases of MUOS Satellites and Associated Equipment (NAVY)

Specifications: Mobile User Objective System

Go to Top

Primary function: Advanced narrow-band Ultra-High-Frequency (UHF) communications satellite constellation
Prime Contractor: Lockheed Martin Corporation
Access Type: WCDMA
Data Rates: 64 kbps and beyond 'on the move'
Bandwidth: 4x 5.0 MHz carriers
Satellites: 4x GEO bent-pipe satellites and 1x on-orbit spare;
16 beams per satellite; Satellite carries MUOS, WCDMA, and legacy payloads
DoD Teleport: Portal to the Defense Information System Network (DSN, SIPRNET, NIPRNET)
Price/Unit Cost: MUOS GEO Satellite: 310.8 million (in FY 2011)
Deployed: On-Orbit Capability: May 2012 (full MUOS capability planned for FY 2015)

Defense Program

Aircraft Programs Missile Programs Space Programs Shipbuilding Programs Vehicle Programs