Promising much greater access and improved communications than the satellite it will replace, a new mobile user objective system (MUOS) satellite is currently scheduled to launch mid-July aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V launch vehicle. It will be part of an array of six MUOS geosynchronous satellites developed for the United States Department of Defense (DoD) for global communications using ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) bands from 300 MHz to 3 GHz. It will replace a legacy UHF Follow-On (UFO) satellite system that is nearing its end of life.
The first MUOS satellite, which launched in February 2012, provides high-quality voice communications through more than 20,000 existing data exchange terminals. Its payload is said to provide 16 times the number of accesses than the previous UHF system. The six MUOS satellites, built by Lockheed Martin, are aimed to achieve full operational capability by 2015.