This is coolbert:
Thanks once more to StrategyPage and Jim we have the latest on American military communications capability.
Satellites and an add-on kit to the current standard American military back-pack radio allowing "infinite range" what it is referred to.
A PRC-155 equipped with the add-on kit able to uplink and downlink via satellite to any other similarly configured PRC-155 ANYWHERE ON THE WORLD AND ON DEMAND!
SATCOM at the squad level.
"The Radio With Infinite Range"
"Last December the U.S. Army ordered the first hundred MUOS (satellite communication) upgrade kits (some additional hardware and software) for PRC-155 radios . . . The PRC-155 is equipped to provide Internet-like capabilities on the battlefield and MUOS gives access to a world-wide net."
"MUOS (Mobile User Objective System) is a new military communications system. MUOS will give military users cell-phone-like capabilities anywhere in the world. Four communications satellites operating in 36,000 kilometer stationary (geosynchronous) orbits provide superior satellite phone service"
MUOS those four satellites in orbit AND four ground stations strategically located.
"The four ground stations (one for each satellite) are in Sicily, North America, Hawaii, and Australia."
It should be noted and I would deficient in not reminding devoted readers to the blog that there has been for at least a period of fifteen years now a satellite network in orbit that ALSO has world-wide capability, peer-to-peer communication utilizing handsets, SATCOM for the average citizen much less for the military troop!
This is Iridium. A commercial venture needing about forty low-orbit satellites for proper operation AND of which the U.S. military for quite a long while was a major subscriber and user.
Iridium NOT considered to be a commercial success, the handsets too big, the cost too great for an individual subscriber to make the enterprise profit-making. My understanding was that the U.S. government had such an investment in Iridium equipment that for a long time the American military was the one subscriber that kept the entire system afloat!
Iridium to my surprise still up and going, evidently even thriving [?] and even expanding [?].
"Iridium Products. Cutting-edge communication by the only truly global network."
"The Iridium satellite constellation is a large group of satellites providing voice and data coverage to satellite phones, pagers and integrated transceivers over Earth's entire surface. Iridium Communications Inc. owns and operates the constellation and sells equipment and access to its services. It was originally developed in 1992, and subsequently implemented in the October of 1999."
See here a web site that allows orbit predictions for the Iridium satellite
"Catch a *Flaring/Glinting Iridium" as they are called. A "glint" of the satellite in orbit that can be observed from earth by the unaided eye, an impressive but ephemeral spectacle.