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US Air Force prepares to launch military communications satellite

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CAPE CANAVERAL (BNS): The third Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) military communications satellite is getting ready for launch from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida next week.

The Lockheed Martin-built satellite has been encapsulated into its payload ahead of its launch by the Atlas V rocket on Sept 18.

The AEHF builds on the success of its predecessor -- the Lockheed-developed Milstar constellation currently on-orbit.

The new-generation satellites are designed to provide vastly improved global, survivable, highly secure, protected communications to warfighters operating on ground, sea and air platforms.

A single AEHF satellite provides greater total capacity than the entire legacy five-satellite Milstar constellation, according to the company.

Two AEHF satellites have already been orbited while work on the fourth satellite is going on.

Lockheed Martin has been contracted by the USAF to build six AEHF satellites.

AEHF will also serve international partners including Canada, the Netherlands and the UK.

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