Military Embedded Systems

Air Force launches second Advanced EHF military communications satellite


May 07, 2012

John McHale

Editorial Director

Military Embedded Systems

CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla. Air Force officials launched the second Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF-2) military communication satellite an Atlas V rocket, built by United Launch Alliance (ULA).

The Lockheed Martin AEHF-2 expands on the capabilities provided by the Milstar satellite constellation that is still on-orbit. A single AEHF satellite provides more total capacity than the entire five-satellite Milstar constellation. With AEHF individual user data rates will be increased by a factor of five, enabling transmission of tactical military communications, such as battlefield maps, real-time video, and targeting data. AEHF also enables survivable and protected communications to national leaders with presidential conferencing in all levels of conflict.

AEHF provides improved global, secure, protected communications for warfighters operating on air, ground, and sea and platforms. The AEHF satellite also will serve international partners such as the Netherlands, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

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

The U.S. Air Force Military Satellite Communications Systems Directorate at the Space and Missile Systems Center at Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif., is a key part of the AEHF team. Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co. in Sunnyvale, Calif., is the AEHF prime contractor, space and ground segments provider, and system integrator. The payload provider is Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems in Redondo Beach, Calif.


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