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US State Department Approves Sale of Mobile User Objective System Access (MUOS) to Canada

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US State Department Approves Sale of Mobile User Objective System Access (MUOS) to Canada

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US State Department Approves Sale of Mobile User Objective System Access (MUOS) to Canada
US State Department Approves Sale of Mobile User Objective System Access (MUOS) to Canada

The US State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Canada of Mobile User Objective System Access and related elements of logistics and program support for an estimated cost of $138 million. The Government of Canada has requested to buy telecommunications services providing Tactical Narrowband Satellite Communications (SATCOM) access to Canadian armed forces users over the Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) service; communication technical assistance to provide operational support, lifecycle management support, and engineering technical assistance and services; personnel training and training equipment; U.S. Government and contractor engineering; technical and logistics support services; and other related elements of logistics and program support. The estimated total cost is $138 million.

This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States by helping to improve the military capability of Canada, a NATO Ally that is an important force for ensuring political stability and economic progress and a contributor to military, peacekeeping, and humanitarian operations around the world. The proposed sale will improve Canada’s ability to meet current and future threats by providing ultra-high frequency SATCOM access. MUOS access will increase Canada’s capacity to conduct operations in concert with U.S. forces for the defense of North America. Enhanced functionality in northern latitudes is integral to meeting Canada’s North American Aerospace Defense Command missions and makes MUOS particularly beneficial to continental air defense collaboration. The principal contractor will be General Dynamics, Reston, VA.

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General Dynamics leads the deployment of the MUOS ground system,
General Dynamics leads the deployment of the MUOS ground system, (Photo by General Dynamics)

The Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) is a United States Space Force narrowband military communications satellite system that supports a worldwide, multi-service population of users in the ultra high frequency (UHF) band. The system provides increased communications capabilities to newer, smaller terminals while still supporting interoperability with legacy terminals. MUOS is designed to support users who require greater mobility, higher bit rates and improved operational availability. The MUOS was declared fully operational for use in 2019. The MUOS, through a constellation of five satellites (four operational satellites and one on-orbit spare), provides global narrowband connectivity to terminals, platforms, tactical operators and operations centers.

MUOS offers crystal clear cell phone quality voice communications to soldiers at ten times the capacity of the legacy UHF system. A single MUOS satellite provides 4x the capacity of the entire legacy system of eight satellites. For U.S. Forces on the ground, the MUOS system provides familiar cellular phone-like services with the satellites acting as very tall “towers” to allow warfighters on the ground to communicate directly with each other and their commanders virtually anywhere in the world. Developed by General Dynamics engineers in Scottsdale, AZ, the MUOS waveform converts a commercial third generation (3G) Wideband Code Division Multiple Access (WCDMA) cellular phone technology to provide a new and more capable UHF military satellite communications (SATCOM) system.

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