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NATO 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D


The NATO Satellite Communications System provided immediate communications links between officials of the various NATO nations. The satellites feature ultra-high, super-high and extremely-high frequency transponders with three horn antennas capable of providing secure voice and fax services to hundreds of NATO users simultaneously. Members of an Air Force Space Command unit provided command and control for the NATO system.

The NATO-3 series were spin stabilized satellites with a design life of 7 years. They were built by Ford Aerospace.

Nation: International
Type / Application: Military communication
Operator: NATO
Contractors: Philco Ford Space & Reentry Systems Division
Equipment: 2 transponders operating in the 7 to 8 GHz region
Configuration: NATO-3 Bus
Propulsion: SVM-6 (#A - #C), Star-27B (#D)
Power: Solar cells (body mounted), batteries
Lifetime: 7 years
Orbit: GEO
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
NATO 3A 1976-035A 22.04.1976 CC LC-17B Delta-2914
NATO 3B 1977-005A 28.01.1977 CC LC-17B Delta-2914
NATO 3C 1978-106A 19.11.1978 CC LC-17B Delta-2914
NATO 3D 1984-115A 14.11.1984 CC LC-17A Delta-3914


  • Donald H. Martin: Communication Satellites, Aerospace Press, 1991, p 105-107
Further NATO missions:

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