Marine Corps chooses L3Harris to provide lightweight, man-packable SATCOM system for expeditionary forces

Oct. 22, 2020
The lightweight MCWS-X will provide the Marines with throughput rates as fast as two megabits per second and sometimes as fast as 10 megabits per second.

QUANTICO MARINE BASE, Va. – U.S. Marine Corps field commanders needed a small, lightweight satellite communications (SATCOM) terminal for expeditionary forces assaulting invasion beaches and operating close to the enemy. They found their solution from L3Harris Technologies.

Officials of the Marine Corps Systems Command at Quantico Marine Base, Va., announced potential $87.7 million contract Tuesday to the L3Harris Global Communications Solutions (GCS) division in Victor, N.Y., for Marine Corps Wideband Satellite - Expeditionary (MCWS-X) satellite terminals.

L3Harris will deliver as many as 169 MCWS-X terminals, which are man-packable multiband super-high frequency (SHF) multi-waveform SATCOM terminal that operates on X-, Ku-, and Ka-band SATCOM frequencies.

L3Harris is designing MCWX-X to be transported by one Marine, and set-up by that Marine in less than 15 minutes. The MCWS-X will provide throughput rates as fast as two megabits per second and sometimes as fast as 10 megabits per second.

Related: Special Operations forces eye new lightweight SATCOM communications for front-line warfighters

It will use software RF waveforms that are backward-compatible with legacy Marine Corps SATCOM equipment U.S. military enterprise SATCOM gateways.

L3Harris engineers will design the MCWX-X to be forward-compatible with future upgrades planned to implement the Protected Tactical Waveform (PTW).

On this contract L3Harris will do the work in Rochester, N.Y., and should be finished by October 2025. For more information contact L3Harris Technologies at, or Marine Corps Systems Command at

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