Navy Contracts For Additional Years Of MARISAT Satellite Service

The United States Navy has agreed to extend its use of each of the three s a t e l l i t e s in the MARISAT System for an additional two and one-half years, ending in 1981.

Payments for service provided during the full t e rm of the agreement will total approximately $138 million if the MARISAT satellites located over the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans continue to operate satisfactorily.

Payments under an earlier agreement would have totaled approximately $83 million.

The MARISAT System began providing communications service to the Navy in the Atlantic region in March 1976, the Pacific region in June, 1976, and the Indian Ocean region in January 1977.

The MARISAT System is owned by four companies under a joint venture arrangement approved by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). COMSAT General Corporation holds an 86.29- percent ownership interest and also serves as System Manager.

RCA Global C o m m u n i c a t i o n s holds an 8-percent interest; Western Union International, a 3.41- percent interest, and ITT World Communications, a 2.3-percent interest.

Total investment in the MARISAT System under the joint venture arrangement is estimated at approximately $107 million.

Each of the MARISAT satellites has a design life of five years, and operates in three different f r e - quency bands: UHF (ultra-high frequency) for Navy service, Lband and C-band for commercial maritime users. The Navy leases all of the UHF capacity in all three M A R I S A T satellites for fleet communications between its own fixed and mobile terminals.

The Atlantic and Pacific MARISAT satellites also provide service to commercial maritime customers, using the L-band and C-band frequencies for modern, highquality telex, telephone, data, and facsimile communications to commercial ships and offshore facilities.

Maritime Reporter Magazine, page 46,  Sep 1977

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