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Aero India 2023

US Air Force launches advanced military communication satellite

The Atlas V rocket lists off with the AEHF-3 satellite. A ULA photo

CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION (BNS): The third Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) military communications satellite for the US Air Force has been successfully launched from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida on Wednesday.

The Lockheed Martin-built satellite was launched by the United Launch Alliance's Atlas V rocket at 4.10 am local time.

Lockheed Martin confirmed signal acquisition at 51 minutes after launch.

The AEHF builds on the success of its predecessor -- the Lockheed-developed Milstar constellation of satellites currently in 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 in 2010 and 2012. 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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