Monday, August 9, 2010

Lockheed Martin Readies First Advanced Extremely High Frequency Satellite

Lockheed Martin Space Systems has encapsulated the first Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) military communications satellite into the fairing in preparation for a mid-August liftoff aboard an Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.

The AEHF will deliver survivable, protected, secure links to U.S. national leaders, air, land and sea forces, providing rapid, global coverage for the nation's strategic forces, the Air Force's space warning assets and operationally deployed military forces. The AEHF constellation will also serve international partners including Canada, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

Lockheed Martin said one AEHF satellite will provide greater total capacity than the entire Milstar constellation. Individual user data rates will be five times improved. The system is expected to include three geostationary satellites, along with spares.

The AEHF team is led by the U.S. Air Force Military Satellite Communications Systems Wing at the Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif. Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, Sunnyvale, Calif., is the AEHF prime contractor and system manager, with Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems, Redondo Beach, Calif., as the payload provider.