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First-order necessary conditions for optimal, steady-state, reduced-order state estimation for a linear, time-invariant plant in the presence of correlated disturbance and nonsingular measurement noise are derived in a new and highly simplified form. In contrast to the lone matrix Riccati equation arising in the full-order (Kalman filter) case, the optimal steady-state reduced-order estimator is characterized by three matrix equations (one modified Riccati equation and two modified Lyapunov equations) coupled by a projection whose rank is precisely equal to the order of the estimator and which determines the optimal estimator gains. This coupling is a graphic reminder of the suboptimality of proposed approaches involving either model reduction followed by "full-order" estimator design or full-order estimator design followed by estimator-reduction techniques. The results given here complement recently obtained results which characterize the optimal reduced-order model by means of a pair of coupled modified Lyapunov equations  and the optimal fixed-order dynamic compensator by means of a coupled system of two modified Riceati equations and two modified Lyapunov equations .