A U.S. Air Force advanced extremely high frequency communications satellite launched from Cape Canaveral today at 3:04 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The satellite, built by Lockheed Martin and lofted by a United Space Alliance Atlas V rocket, was the third launch of six AEHF satellites.
“Our AEHF-1 and -2 satellites are delivering improved capability during on-orbit testing, having already connected three allies and 10 terminal types,” said Mark Calassa, vice president of Protected Communication Systems at Lockheed Martin.
Canada and the United Kingdom use the AEHF system, joined last week by the Netherlands.
A single AEHF satellite provides greater total capacity than the entire legacy five-satellite Milstar constellation, while individual user data rates are quintupled, according to a Lockheed Martin press release.