Lockheed picked to supply satellite system

Lockheed Martin Corp. has been tapped to build the Navy's narrowband satellite communications system under a $3.3 billion contract.

The contract from the Navy Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command is for building the Mobile User Objective System, a satellite communications system that will improve and secure communications for mobile warfighters, the company said Friday.

Lockheed Martin Space Systems of Sunnyvale, Calif., and its team will produce the first two satellites and associated ground control elements as part of Navy's $2.1 billion Risk Reduction, Design Development, Acquisition and Operations Support program. The company's team includes General Dynamics C4 Systems of Scottsdale, Ariz., and Boeing Satellite System of El Segundo, Calif. The contract also has options for three more satellite systems that could push its total value to nearly $3.3 billion.

The program will increase the availability of military communications and provide simultaneous voice, data and video in real-time to mobile warfighters around the world. It will be compatible with existing systems, associated legacy terminals and with terminals for the military's multibillion Joint Tactical Radio Systems program. The first satellite for the Mobile User Objective System is expected to be launched in 2010.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin employs 130,000 workers worldwide and had 2003 revenue of $31.8 billion. It has held the No. 1 position on Washington Technology's Top 100 list of federal prime contractors for the past 10 years.

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