EHF military communications satellite launched

May 07, 2012 // By Jean-Pierre Joosting
The second Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF-2) military communication satellite, built by a Lockheed Martin team for the U.S. Air Force, was successfully launched today from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station aboard a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket.

AEHF builds on the success of the Lockheed Martin-built Milstar constellation currently on-orbit by providing vastly improved global, survivable, highly secure, protected communications for warfighters operating on ground, sea and air platforms. AEHF will also serve international partners including Canada, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

A single AEHF satellite provides greater total capacity than the entire five-satellite Milstar constellation. Individual user data rates will be increased 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 also provides the critical survivable, protected, and endurable communications links to national leaders including presidential conferencing in all levels of conflict.

Lockheed Martin is currently under contract to provide four AEHF satellites and the Mission Control Segment. The program has begun advanced procurement of long-lead components for the fifth and sixth AEHF satellites.