LONDON — The Canadian military, already a partner on two U.S. military satellite communications systems, is in discussions to use a third constellation that was until recently a U.S.-only system.
The U.S. opened MUOS, the Mobile User Objective System, to partners in 2015 after building and launching most of the system as a strictly national project. The fifth and final satellite, which was a spare, launched in 2016, completing a geostationary constellation that provides smartphone-like communications on a near-global basis.
Speaking at the 2018 Global MilSatcom conference here Nov. 8, Col. Cameron Stoltz, director general of space for the Canadian Armed Forces, said Canada wants access to MUOS to obtain ultra-high frequency satellite coverage 65 degrees north and south of the equator.
Stoltz said an agreement under discussion now could involve Canada paying “hundreds of millions of dollars” to leverage MUOS, but with the stipulation that Canada has assured access to the $7.4 billion constellation.
“One of the key points of us getting access to the MUOS is making sure that we have assured access to a certain amount of this capability,” he said. “As you can imagine, ourselves and our bosses are not interested in writing a ...