Navy declares new satellite constellation demonstrated full operational capability

By Justin Katz  
October 16, 2019 at 1:43 PM

(Editor's Note: This post has been updated to reflect that the Mobile User Objective System has demonstrated full operational capability, but has not declared the formal acquisition milestone.)

The Navy today announced its next-generation satellite has demonstrated full operational capability.

"The successful completion of this testing demonstrates the system's full operational capability and its readiness for forces to transition it into unrestricted operations," according to the Navy statement.

Navy spokesman Capt. Danny Hernandez told Inside Defense today that the system did not formally declare the acquisition milestone. "We're in the final stages before we can declare FOC," he said.

Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) is a narrowband military satellite communications system and is expected to provide 10 times the system capacity of the Pentagon's legacy Ultra High Frequency constellation.

Inside Defense reported in 2017 the program had previously estimated it would achieve FOC in January 2017.

However, the Navy's acquisition executive at the time changed that estimate to April 2020 after the Pentagon's top weapon tester deemed the satellite "not operationally effective and not operationally suitable," according to a December 2016 selected acquisition report.