EchoStar subsidiary Hughes Network Systems wrapped up the construction of a manufacturing facility for its satellites, which doubles as a testing ground for private 5G network services being designed for the US Department of Defense (DoD).

The Hughes Manufacturing Facility (EXM) produces the company’s satellite modems and Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite terminals.

Hughes stated the EXM facility will also serve as a testing ground for private 5G services just starting to hit the market for enterprise applications, as well as secure 5G network applications critical to the DoD.

The company will use the new centre to provide the DoD with secure onshore manufacturing capabilities to help the agency evaluate 5G applications for military uses cases.

This 140,000-square-foot space facility is in the state of Maryland located on a community college campus. Hughes noted the manufacturing centre will offer hands-on training and educational initiatives for students.

In addition to about 400 engineers, technicians and manufacturing staff, the Hughes EXM facility utilises advanced robotics to assist in the manufacture of its high-tech satellite products.

Hughes stated it supplies more than half the global satellite terminal market to satellite operators, mobile providers and military customers.