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U.S. Air Force Successfully Launches Final Lockheed Martin-Built DSCS III Spacecraft
PRNewswire-FirstCall
CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla.

The last in a series of 14 Defense Satellite Communications System (DSCS) spacecraft built by Lockheed Martin for the U.S. Air Force was successfully launched today from Cape Canaveral Air Station, Fla. The DSCS constellation supported military operations during Operation Iraqi Freedom and will continue to provide vital communications links to U.S. and Allied Forces around the globe well into the future.

The satellite, designated DSCS III B6, is a super high-frequency (SHF) communications spacecraft that features Service Life Enhancement Program (SLEP) upgrades designed to provide improved and uninterrupted secure voice and high data rate communications to its Department of Defense users. Additional SLEP upgrades on B6 will provide increased downlink power and improved connectivity to its antennas. This satellite will join the 13 other DSCS satellites on-orbit, including DSCS A3, which was launched successfully on March 10, 2003, and already is operational.

"For over two decades, the Department of Defense has entrusted DSCS to provide reliable, secure, communications to deployed forces around the globe," said Leonard F. Kwiatkowski, vice president, Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Sunnyvale. "During this period, the system has consistently demonstrated its capabilities, ensuring that vital information was delivered into the right hands at the right time. We are very proud of this historic milestone and the men and women who have contributed to the program's tremendous legacy of success."

Each DSCS III satellite has a design life of 10-years, although more than half of the DSCS satellites on-orbit today have far exceeded their design life expectancy and continue to perform with outstanding results. Last year, the first DSCS III satellite, A1, reached 20 years on orbit. DSCS III A1 was launched on Oct. 30, 1982 aboard a Lockheed Martin Titan 34D launch vehicle from Cape Canaveral.

Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, headquartered in Denver, Colo., is one of the major operating units of Lockheed Martin Corporation. Space Systems designs, develops, tests, manufactures and operates a variety of advanced technology systems for military, civil and commercial customers. Chief products include space launch and ground systems, remote sensing and communications satellites for commercial and government customers, advanced space observatories and interplanetary spacecraft, fleet ballistic missiles and missile defense systems.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin employs about 125,000 people worldwide and is a global enterprise principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture and integration of advanced technology systems, products, and services. The Corporation reported 2002 sales of $26.6 billion.

Media Contact: Steve Tatum, 408-742-7531; e-mail, Stephen.o.tatum@lmco.com

SOURCE: Lockheed Martin

CONTACT: Steve Tatum of Lockheed Martin, +1-408-742-7531, or
Stephen.o.tatum@lmco.com