Lockheed Martin-built communications satellite now in orbit
A fourth Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) protected communications satellite, built by Lockheed Martin, has successfully launched on behalf of the US Air Force.
From Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 551 rocketed into Earth’s atmosphere carrying the communications satellite on board. Now in orbit, the satellite will undergo rigorous testing before official hand over to the US Air Force.
Much has been made of the AEHF system, which Lockheed Martin says will provide secure communications to warfighters operating on land, sea and air platforms. With the launch a success, the AEHF constellation now completes a geostationary ring able to deliver global coverage.
“It’s good to return with our mission partners to see the culmination of expertise, skill and partnership that we have worked diligently toward to make this AEHF launch a success,” said Mike Cacheiro, Vice President of Protected Communication Systems at Lockheed Martin. “This is a substantial milestone for AEHF, and as we look ahead, we continue to improve and upgrade this mission to deliver these vital communications capabilities to the Air Force.”
Lockheed Martin is also contracted to deliver the fifth and sixth satellites and upgrade the Mission Planning Ground System. To date, they have provided payload system engineering, mission control ground software, solar arrays and the LM A2100 spacecraft bus – a low-risk platform for commercial, civil and military satellites. All AEHF satellites are assembled at the company’s facility in Sunnyvale, California.
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