DoD plans to stretch out the launches of the six remaining DSCS-III satellites currently in storage. With the anticipation of having five operationally "green" DSCS-III satellites on-orbit by May of 1994, this action allowed DoD to delay the decision for follow-on super high frequency service until FY 1996. This decision also provides additional time to implement a planned modification of the DSCS-III beam forming network on the last four satellites. These modifications directly expand the tactical utility of the DSCS-III system by incorporating state-of-the-art technology improvements into a system which was designed in the mid-1970s.(1)
The Defense Satellite Communications System (DSCS)
Modernization (DSCSM) provides long haul satellite communications over either Department of
Defense (DOD) or Commercial Super High Frequency (SHF) Satellite. DSCSM provides vital
Command, Control, and Communications services for the United States and Allied Forces
throughout the world by means of ground terminals and satellites. DSCSM will provide high
priority communications for much of the Department of Defense. It will be engineered to support
the World Wide Military Command and Control System (WWMCCS). DSCSM will provide
communications services between the National Command Authority (NCA) or Joint Staff and
Unified and Specified Commanders. It will provide communications links between the sensor and
early warning sites to the Command Centers. Other users of DSCSM include but are not limited
to, (a) Navy ship-shore-ship links, (b) Army, (c) Marine, (d) Air Force Ground Mobile Forces,
and (e) Diplomatic Telecommunications System (DTS) of the Department of State. DSCSM
extends the range of high capacity trunks including the Defense Switching Network (DSN) and
Defense Data Network (DDN). The DSCSM MNS was approved by DAMO-FD 31 Jan 96.
1. Department of Defense, Report on the Bottom Up Review, October 1993, pages 65-68.