The US Air Force’s (USAF) first advanced extremely high frequency (AEHF) military communications satellite has entered into the on-orbit testing phase following the completion of initial activation of the protected communications payload..

During the four-month on-orbit testing, a detailed evaluation of the satellite’s operational performance capabilities will be performed.

The testing will also include a period of single satellite testing, followed by testing with the operational Milstar constellation.

AEHF, developed by MILSATCOM Systems, has been designed to provide improved global, survivable, highly secure, protected communications for warfighters operating on ground, sea and air platforms.

The satellite command authority will be transferred from the Space and Missile Systems Center to Air Force Space Command’s 14th Air Force in early 2012.