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 Re-entry Notes
DSCS III-11982 106B30-Oct-1982  Also known as DSCS III A-1
DSCS III-21985 092B3-Oct-1985  Also known as USA-11 and DSCS III B-4
DSCS III-31985 092C3-Oct-1985  Also known as USA-12 and DSCS III B-5
DSCS III-41989 069B4-Sep-1989  Also known as USA-44 and DSCS III A-2
DSCS III-51992 006A11-Feb-1992  Also known as USA-78 and DSCS III B-14
DSCS III-61992 037A2-Jul-1992  Also known as USA-82 and DSCS III B-12
DSCS III-71993 046A19-Jul-1993  Also known as USA-93 and DSCS III B-9
DSCS III-81993 074A28-Nov-1993  Also known as USA-97 and DSCS III B-10
DSCS III-91995 038A31-Jul-1995  Also known as USA-113 and DSCS III B-7
DSCS III-101997 065A25-Oct-1997  Also known as USA-135 and DSCS III B-13
DSCS III-112000 001A21-Jan-2000  Also known as USA-148 and DSCS III B-8
DSCS III-122000 065A20-Oct-2000  Also known as USA-153 and DSCS III B-11
DSCS III-132003 008A11-Mar-2003  Also known as USA-167
DSCS III-142003 040A29-Aug-2003  Also known as USA-170

Launch dates of the DSCS III series

Background History


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Last Updated: 1 January 2004