Second AEHF satellite fully operational after on-orbit testing

Lockheed Martin and the Air Force have transferred operational control of the second Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) military communications satellite to the 14th Air Force at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., following successful on orbit testing of the spacecraft, the company announced Nov. 14.

The AEHF system, which is the successor to the Milstar constellation, provides improved secure and protected global communications for strategic command and tactical warfighters operating on ground, sea and air platforms, the company said in its announcement. The system also serves international partners including Canada, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

The on-orbit testing demonstrated both interoperability with the existing Milstar constellation and established communications networks between combinations of EHF communications terminals with legacy Milstar data rates, and also the new AEHF extended data rates, the company said.

One AEHF satellite can furnish greater total capacity than the entire legacy five-satellite Milstar constellation. Individual user data rates will be increased five-fold, permitting transmission of tactical military communications, such as real-time video, battlefield maps and targeting data.

AEHF-2 launched on May 4 aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket. 

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