Lockheed Martin shipped the third Advanced Extremely High Frequency military communications satellite to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., July 10, where it will be prepared for a September liftoff aboard an Atlas V rocket.
The AEHF system provides vastly improved global, survivable, highly secure, protected communications for strategic command and tactical warfighters operating on ground, sea and air platforms. The system also serves international partners including Canada, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Canada was the first of these nations to connect to AEHF during recent tests with multiple terminals.
“AEHF capability is in demand, and this satellite is on its way to grow protected communications capability for the U.S. and allies,” said Mark Calassa, Lockheed Martin vice president of Protected Communications. “Our team has succeeded at delivering unmatched capability being used internationally while significantly reducing costs in production.”
A single AEHF satellite provides greater total capacity than the entire legacy five-satellite Milstar constellation. Individual user data rates will increase five-fold, permitting transmission of tactical military communications, such as real-time video, battlefield maps and targeting data. In addition to its tactical mission, AEHF provides the critical survivable, protected and endurable communications links to national leaders, including presidential conferencing in all levels of conflict.
Lockheed Martin is under contract to deliver six AEHF satellites and the Mission Control Segment. Both AEHF-1 and AEHF-2 are on orbit, and AEHF-4 is progressing on schedule. All satellites are assembled at the company’s Sunnyvale, Calif., facility.