AEHF-4 Ready for Launch
SMC Public Affairs
/ Published October 16, 2018
CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla. --
The Air Force’s fourth Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) satellite rolled out to Space Launch Complex-41 launch pad at 10 a.m. EDT on Oct. 15. A live feed will begin 20 minutes prior to the launch, concluding approximately 45 minutes following launch. A simulcast of the broadcast can be viewed at http://www.ulalaunch.com/site/pages/multimedia_webcasts.html.
The launch of AEHF-4 satellite aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V launch vehicle is set for October 17 with the launch window opening at 12:15 a.m. EDT.
AEHF is a joint service satellite communications system which will provide survivable, global, secure, protected, and jam-resistant communications for high-priority military ground, sea, and air assets. The AEHF system is the follow-on to the Milstar system, augmenting, improving and expanding the Department of Defense's Military Satellite Communications (MILSATCOM) architecture.
AEHF-4 was originally slated to ride on an Atlas V in the 531 configuration. The Air Force moved to change AEHF-4 and the remaining two AEHF satellites’ launch vehicles to the 551 configuration by adding two additional solid boosters. This was identified as an opportunity to maximize chances for mission success over the lifetime of the space vehicles. This decision is a direct recognition of the critical support AEHF is required to provide to our warfighters and national leaders through potential future conflicts. With the launch of AEHF-4, the full constellation will provide near-worldwide continuous protected communication for national leaders and joint warfighters as well as our International Partners. The enterprise communications solution, the inclusion of our International Partners, and the rapid execution of the launch vehicle change by the combined government/contractor team highlights how enterprise agility and speed under SMC 2.0 delivers war-winning space capabilities for the nation.
The AEHF team is led by the United States Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center’s MILSATCOM Systems Directorate, located at Los Angeles Air Force Base, California. Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company is the AEHF prime contractor, with Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems as the payload developer and manufacturer. Air Force Space Command operates the AEHF system.
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