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Program: Milstar

Also named ES-8A

US military communication system. To provide secure worldwide wartime telecommunications. The satellites apply the switchboard in space concept and provide on-board signal processing, signal routing, resource control, crossbanding and satellite crosslinks.

The Milstar program estimated cost is $17.3 billion (1992-2011). Air Force officials said $8.8 billion of the unclassified $17.3 billion portion paid for the six satellites while another $8.5 billion will be spent on new radio gear needed by military units to use the satellites.

Lockheed Martin Missiles & Space, Sunnyvale, CA, is the prime contractor for Milstar. The Milstar team is led by the MILSATCOM Joint Program Office at the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center in El Segundo, CA. TRW Space and Electronics Group provides the low data rate payload for the satellite. Hughes Aircraft Company is providing the medium data rate payload for Milstar Block 2. The major technologies aboard are on-board signal processing and routing and inter-satellite links.

The GAO reported the first 2 Milstar have serious problems which hinder there capability to carry out their missions. The report notes that there us a chance that the system (even with the second series of Milstar) could degrade below a minimally acceptable level in 2003.

The followup program is Advanced EHF


50th Space Wing
300 O'Malley Ave, Suite 24, Falcon AFB, CO 80912-3024, USA

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