Directory of U.S. Military Rockets and Missiles
Appendix 3: Space Vehicles
Copyright © 2003-2004 Jos Heyman
(HTML formatting by Andreas Parsch)

General Electric ES-5 DSCS III

The Defence Satellite Communications System (DSCS) III third generation military communications satellites, were built by GE Astrospace and later by Martin Marietta. Also known as ES-5A, they had a mass of 1232 kg. The first sub-generation, known as A type of which three were built, were fitted with six transponders operating in the 240/320 MHz band. The remaining satellites were of the B type and also operated in the 7/8 GHz band.

The operational system consisted of five primary satellites operating from a geostationary orbit, and five reserve satellites. The exact geostationary locations of the satellites are classified. In 1995 the satellites remaining in storage then were upgraded to extend their lives to 10 years by installing improved thrusters, solar cells and transponders.

Image: Author's collection
DSCS III-10 (1997-065A)

Name Intl. Designation Launch Notes
DSCS III-11982-106B30-Oct-1982Also known as DSCS III A-1
DSCS III-21985-092B 3-Oct-1985Also known as USA-11 and DSCS III B-4
DSCS III-31985-092C 3-Oct-1985Also known as USA-12 and DSCS III B-5
DSCS III-41989-069B 4-Sep-1989Also known as USA-44 and DSCS III A-2
DSCS III-51992-006A11-Feb-1992Also known as USA-78 and DSCS III B-14
DSCS III-61992-037A 2-Jul-1992Also known as USA-82 and DSCS III B-12
DSCS III-71993-046A19-Jul-1993Also known as USA-93 and DSCS III B-9
DSCS III-81993-074A28-Nov-1993Also known as USA-97 and DSCS III B-10
DSCS III-91995-038A31-Jul-1995Also known as USA-113 and DSCS III B-7
DSCS III-101997-065A25-Oct-1997Also known as USA-135 and DSCS III B-13
DSCS III-112000-001A21-Jan-2000Also known as USA-148 and DSCS III B-8
DSCS III-122000-065A20-Oct-2000Also known as USA-153 and DSCS III B-11
DSCS III-132003-008A11-Mar-2003Also known as USA-167
DSCS III-142003-040A29-Aug-2003Also known as USA-170

Launch dates of the DSCS III series

Background History


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Last Updated: 1 January 2004