The US Air Force’s first advanced extremely high-frequency (AEHF) military communications satellite has been encapsulated in preparation for launch in mid August 2010.

The AEHF satellite will be launched aboard an Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

Developed by Lockheed Martin, the AEHF will deliver survivable, protected, secure links to US national leaders, and air, land and sea forces.

It will provide rapid, global coverage for the nation’s strategic forces, the air force’s space warning assets and operationally deployed military forces.

A single AEHF satellite will provide greater total capacity compared with the entire Milstar constellation and will have five-times improved individual user data rates.

The higher data rates will allow transmission of tactical military communication such as real-time video, battlefield maps and targeting data.

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