USAF to launch fifth AEHF communications satellite

7 August 2019 (Last Updated August 7th, 2019 11:11)

United Launch Alliance (ULA) is set to launch a fifth Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) communications satellite for the US Air Force Space and Missile Systems Centre.

USAF to launch fifth AEHF communications satellite
USAF to launch fifth AEHF communications satellite. Credits: Lockheed Martin.

United Launch Alliance (ULA) is set to launch a fifth Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) communications satellite for the US Air Force Space and Missile Systems Centre.

The launch will take place on 08 August from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station using ULA’s Atlas V rocket.

The global, anti-jam, protected communications satellite arrived in Florida in May this year.

ULA will use the Atlas V 551 rocket for the launch. The rocket is said to be the most powerful in the Atlas V fleet.

ULA Government and Commercial Programs vice-president Gary Wentz said: “Our highest priority is to safely and reliably deliver national assets.

“We are proud to have successfully launched the first four AEHF satellites, and look forward to launching the newest addition to the constellation in support of our nation’s national defence and the warfighter community.”

The Lockheed Martin-built AEHF system is designed to improve global, survivable, protected communications capabilities for both strategic command and tactical warfighters.

Alongside the US, international partners including Canada, the Netherlands and the UK also use the AEHF system.

Lockheed Martin built and delivered the system under a contract to deliver six AEHF satellites and the Mission Control Segment, the fourth satellite in the AEHF series was launched in October of last year.

The USAF and Lockheed Martin completed AEHF-4’s spacecraft on-orbit testing in April last year.

The new AEHF constellation features the advanced technology of XDR and enables significantly improved data speeds and rapid transmission.

Lockheed Martin is currently building AEHF-6 at its Sunnyvale, California advanced satellite manufacturing facility.