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USAF receives first 'Advanced EHF' satellite

The first Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) military communications satellite completed and ready for shipment from Lockheed Martin's facilities in Sunnyvale, California. Lockheed Martin Photo.

CALIFORNIA (BNS): US Air Force (USAF) has received the first Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) military communications satellite from Lockheed Martin which will be onboard Atlas V launch vehicle for the July 30 liftoff.

“Shipment of the first AEHF satellite is testimony to a strong government and industry partnership focused on achieving total mission success on this vitally important programme,” Col. Michael Sarchet, commander of the Protected Satellite Communications Group at the USAF’s Space and Missile Systems Center said in a Lockheed Martin news release, Tuesday.

“AEHF will play an integral role in our national security space architecture, and we are looking forward to provide this new capability to the war-fighter,” he said.

The AEHF system is the successor to the US DoD’s five-satellite Milstar constellation and will provide significantly improved global, highly secure, protected, survivable communications for all war-fighters serving U.S. national security.

The governments of Canada, The Netherlands, and the United Kingdom have participated in the AEHF programme as international partners and will have access to the communications capability of AEHF.

Lockheed Martin has completed the Final Integrated System Test of the second AEHF spacecraft (SV-2), which verifies all spacecraft interfaces, their full functionality and evaluation of satellite performance. It is now preparing for Intersegment testing to ensure the spacecraft is ready for flight.

The third AEHF satellite, SV-3, has completed acoustic testing, one of several critical environmental tests that validate the overall satellite design, quality of workmanship and survivability during space vehicle launching and on-orbit operations. SV-2 and SV-3 are on track for launch readiness in 2011.

Lockheed Martin is currently under contract with the USAF to provide three AEHF satellites and the Mission Control Segment. The programme has begun advanced procurement of long-lead components for a fourth AEHF satellite.

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.

Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company is the AEHF prime contractor and system manager, with Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems as the payload provider.

BRAHMOS Missile Systems


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