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Release No: 576-96
October 08, 1996


The Joint Space Management Board has decided on an architecture for the Military Satellite Communications System. The Board met in late August to review the conclusions of the Department of Defense Space Architect's military satellite communications architecture study.

The JSMB endorsed the Space Architect's set of objectives, transition goals, and a transition strategy leading to a future MILSATCOM architecture that would significantly enhance support to the warfighter well beyond currently planned capabilities. This new architecture would be achieved in an incremental fashion over the next 20 years to ensure uninterrupted support to operations, while still aggressively pursuing enhanced future support.

The architecture encompasses MILSATCOM, as well as other space communications systems that may be used by DoD, such as systems owned by other government agencies and those owned and operated by private/corporate organizations. A presentation describing the architecture study is available on the DoD Space Architect's WEB site: http://www.acq.osd.mil/space/architect/.

The set of objectives, transition goals, and transition strategy are based on the findings of the DoD Space Architect's Architecture Development Team, or ADT, which spent the last 10 months reviewing previous studies, developing architecture alternatives and analyzing numerous trade-offs relative to space communications user requirements and space communications technical capabilities. These objectives were accepted by the JSMB. They are:

1- Provide assured, secure communications
a - the right communications to the right user, at the right time

b - information services driven

2 - Fully integrate with the DISN

3 - Reduce the communications footprint (terminals radios, antenna, RF signature, people, etc.)

4 - Be user friendly, inter-operable

In addition, the transition goals were accepted by the JSMB. These goals are:

1 - Ensure Continuity of Service through Satellite replenishment, operations management, or risk trade-offs

2 - Within limits of low-medium acquisition risk and acceptable funding, take significant steps toward MILSATCOM objectives, with no barriers to evolution

3 - Enable evolution to new Warfighting visions, and facilitate demonstrations and operational use

4 - Accelerate on-going changes in terminal developments toward flexibility, system efficiency

5 - Fully integrate into the overall communications architecture

6 - Take advantage of international cooperative opportunities

The JSMB directed DUSD(Space), in conjunction with the Joint Staff, the Services, and the Defense Agencies, to develop an organizational structure that would further define the system within the architecture and develop an affordable road map to guide the Department's transition towards the architecture's objectives. In the interim, the JSMB directed that the Space Architect's recommended transition strategy to be used as initial guidance for near-term resource decisions.

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