The US Army's five satellite Milstar constellation has been successfully reconfigured whilst in orbit, with no unplanned disruption to military communications, system manufacturer Lockheed Martin says.
The constellation provides a protected global communication network for the US military and can transmit voice, data and imagery, including video teleconferencing.
The Milstar system is the only survivable means that the US president, secretary of defense and strategic commanders have to maintain control of America's strategic forces.
The reconfiguration, which involved repositioning the satellites to maximise and improve the constellation's earth coverage visibility, took seven months.
Lockheed Martin says the success of the operation bodes well for the launch of Advanced Extremely High Frequency satellites into the network next year.
By Elizabeth Clifford-Marsh