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FAS Project on Intelligence Reform

Mission-22 (M-22) Tactical Network (MTN)

Mission-22 (M-22) transponders are secondary payloads on classified DOD host vehicles that are in highly elliptical orbits. M-22 S-Band communications satellites provide the capability to download imagery, as well as minimum essential wideband support in the event of wideband link outages. The M-22 data rate is limited, but its capability fulfills most present and future vehicle reception requirements. At this time there are no plans for placing transponders on any future satellites. Without additional transponders the M-22 capability will end with the deorbitting of current constellation about 2002.

The Air Force Satellite Control Network (AFSCN), the global system to provide command, control, and communications for space vehicles (SV), uses the Mission-22 (M-22) as an additional communications system.

CHARIOT is a portable S-Band satellite terminal designed for use with the Mission 22 (M-22) transponder. The CHARIOT SATCOM terminal is capable of receiving signals at data rates up to 1024 Kbps from Defense Meterological Support Program and LEO satellites, and up to 128 Kbps from HEO and GEO relay satellites.

The M-22 Tactical Network (MTN) provides a bridge between DoD common user networks and tactical networks with broadcast dissemination of a variety of collateral intelligence products at data delivery rates ranging from eight to 256 kbps. MTN utilizes a small, rapdily deployable S-band receive terminal; or alternatively, operates with existing CHARIOT and SOF IRIS or similar terminals, with MTN software augmentation. Flexible LAN and serial interfaces accommodate a variety of existing tactical intelligence processors and its modular and scalable design facilitates adding capacity and functionality.

During the 1996 Fort Franklin demonstration [an element of JWID-96], the M-22 Tactical Network accomplished a feasibility test of Navy use of MTN for broadcast of various data forms to less-than-command ship sized surface combatants. The MTN linked with the US Naval Oceanographic Office in Mississippi to route surface Navy graphics to Army, Naval, and USAF processing systems at Fort Franklin as well as to JWID 96 participants at Fort Bragg, Fort Gordon, and Shaw AFB. This demonstration was also the first time that the MTN capability was used to route traffic from diverse service users to deployed tactical users, including deployed Army MITT, FAST, and ASAS workstations.

The Fort Franklin demonstration also was the first time that systems from all four services were integrated, sharing a common simulation and able to pass situation data among them. The Army's All-Source Analysis System (ASAS)-Remote Workstation, with its ability to fuse friendly and enemy order of battle and imagery from both Predator UAV and the M-22 Tactical Network (MTN), fed that correlated information onto the Automated Deep Operations Coordination System (ADOCS), developed by Interactive Television Company, as well as Combat Intelligence System (CIS). ADOCS was then able to take that ground order of battle and fuse it with the air order of battle, weapon locations, and readiness status fed from the Local Attack Controller (LAC) and the maritime picture from the Advanced Tomahawk Weapon Control System (ATWCS).

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Created by John Pike
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Updated Sunday, February 20, 2000 11:21:40 AM