November 18, 2014
AEHF Team Wins David Packard Award
The Space and Missile Systems Center’s (SMC) Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) Program Team has won the 2014 David Packard Excellence in Acquisition Award. The Packard Award recognizes Department of Defense (DoD) organizations for innovations and best acquisition practices. It's DoD's highest acquisition team award and was first awarded in 1997 in honor of former Deputy Secretary of Defense and Hewlett-Packard co-founder David Packard. Read More
September 18, 2013
U.S., Allies Increase Protected Military Satellite Communications Capability with AEHFLaunch
The third Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) military communication satellite, built by a Lockheed Martin team for the U.S. Air Force, was successfully launched today at 4:10 a.m. from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station aboard a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket. Lockheed Martin confirmed signal acquisition at 51 minutes after launch. Read More
September 16, 2013
U.S. Air Force Ready to Launch Third Advanced Extremely High Frequency Satellite Built by Lockheed Martin
The U.S. Air Force's third Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) military communications satellite, designed and built by a Lockheed Martin team, is ready to launch aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. Launch is set for Sept. 18 with a two-hour launch window opening at 3:04 a.m. EDT. Read More
September 12, 2013
AEHF Expands Global Communications for Allied Missions; Netherlands Makes Call On Protected Communications Satellite
The Netherlands has become the second Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) international partner to communicate using the Lockheed Martin-produced [NYSE: LMT] satellite system. During July testing, for the first time three nations used the system simultaneously as The Netherlands connected to U.S., Canadian and domestic terminals. Read More
September 11, 2013
Lockheed Martin-Built Advanced Extremely High Frequency Satellite Encapsulated For Upcoming Launch
The third Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) satellite built by Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] has been encapsulated into its payload fairing in preparation for a Sept. 18 liftoff aboard an Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. Read More
July 24, 2013
Lockheed Martin Ships Third AEHF Satellite To U.S. Air Force for Upcoming Launch
Lockheed Martin shipped the third Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) military communications satellite to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., on July 10, where it will be prepared for a September liftoff aboard an Atlas V rocket. Read More
June 20, 2013
Canada Makes First Call On AEHF; First Partner Nation To Connect Terminals To Protected Communication Satellite
Canada recently became the first Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) international partner to communicate using the Lockheed Martin-produced [NYSE: LMT] satellite system. The U.S. Air Force has been allowing select groups to use AEHF for testing as it fields the system, but this expansion means more users beyond the U.S. could soon have more frequent access. Read More
December 28, 2012
Double Buy for AEHF Satellites
One of the world’s most modern and secure communication systems is growing with a new contract from the U.S. Air Force.
The service awarded Lockheed Martin a $1.94 billion fixed-price contract to deliver the fifth and sixth Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) satellites for protected military satellite communication. Read More
December 17, 2012
AEHF Team Completes Major Integration Milestone Ahead Of Schedule
The U.S. Air Force and Lockheed Martin have integrated the system module for the fourth Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) satellite six months ahead of schedule. The milestone marks the completion of the first major phase in the satellite’s assembly, integration and test and is a key indicator that Lockheed Martin and the Air Force are successfully streamlining processes to achieve affordability goals. Read More
November 14, 2012
Lockheed Martin Completes On Orbit Testing of Second AEHF Satellite
The U.S. Air Force and Lockheed Martin have completed on-orbit testing of the second Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) military communications satellite. Following successful spacecraft testing, Satellite Control Authority (SCA) was turned over to the 14th Air Force at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., for operations. Read More
October 25, 2012
Lockheed Martin Radar, Milsatcom Programs Receive DoD Awards For Systems Engineering Excellence
Lockheed Martin has won two of five awards given annually by the Department of Defense and the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) for excellence in systems engineering. The awards, presented at the NDIA Systems Engineering Conference in San Diego, are assessed on 2011 performance and recognize effective implementation of systems engineering best practices to achieve program success. Read More
August 17, 2012
Second AEHF Satellite Payload Activated
The U.S. Air Force successfully activated the AEHF-2 communications payload, Aug. 14.. Payload activation was accomplished from the AEHF command and control site located at Schriever AFB, Colo. During payload activation, the payload wings and antennas were deployed, and the payload processors were initialized and verified in preparation for on-orbit test. Read more
August 10, 2012
Second AEHF Satellite Successfully Arrives On-Orbit
The second Advanced Extremely High Frequency satellite, launched May 4 by the U.S. Air Force Space Command's Space and Missile Systems Center and 45th Space Wing, successfully arrived at its geostationary-orbit test location at approximately 3:30 p.m. PDT on August 10, 2012. Read More
May 4, 2012
Second Advanced EHF Military Communications Satellite Built By Lockheed Martin Launched Successfully for the U.S. Air Force
The second Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF-2) military communication satellite, built by a Lockheed Martin team for the U.S. Air Force, was successfully launched today from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station aboard a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket. Read More
March 22, 2012
U.S. Air Force/Lockheed Martin AEHF Team Honored With Prestigious Aviation Week Laureate Award
The U.S. Air Force/Lockheed Martin/Aerospace Corporation team has been selected as a winner of an Aviation Week Laureate Award for the successful development and execution of an innovative orbit-raising work-around plan that allowed the first Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) satellite to reach its operational location at geosynchronous orbit. Read More
February 29, 2012
Lockheed Martin Team Completes On-Orbit Testing Of First AEHF Satellite
Lockheed Martin announced today the successful completion of on-orbit testing for the first Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) military communications space vehicle (SV-1). Read More
Feb 27, 2012
Lockheed Martin Delivers Second AEHF Satellite To U.S. Air Force For Upcoming Launch
Lockheed Martin today announced that it has delivered the second Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) military communications satellite to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., where it will be readied for an April 2012 liftoff aboard an Atlas V launch vehicle. Read More
Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) is a series of communications satellites operated by the United StatesAir Force Space Command. They will be used to relay secure communications for the Armed Forces of the United States, the British Armed Forces, the Canadian Forces and the Royal Netherlands Armed Forces. The system will consist of six satellites in geostationary orbits, three of which have been launched. AEHF will replace the older Milstar system and will operate at 44 GHz Uplink (EHF band) and 20 GHz Downlink (SHF band). AEHF systems is a joint service communications system that will provide survivable, global, secure, protected, and jam-resistant communications for high-priority military ground, sea and air assets. It is the follow-on to the Milstar system. AEHF systems' uplinks and crosslinks will operate in the extremely high frequency (EHF) range and downlinks in the super high frequency (SHF) range. 
AEHF satellites use a large number of narrow spot beams directed towards the Earth to relay communications to and from users. Crosslinks between the satellites allow them to relay communications directly rather than via a ground station. The satellites are designed to provide jam-resistant communications with a low probability of interception. They incorporate frequency-hopping radio technology, as well as phased array antennas that can adapt their radiation patterns in order to block out potential sources of jamming.
AEHF incorporates the existing Milstar low data-rate and medium data-rate signals, providing 75–2400 bit/s and 4.8 kbit/sec–1.544 Mbit/s respectively. It also incorporates a new signal, allowing data rates of up to 8.192 Mbit/s. When complete, the space segment of the AEHF system will consist of six satellites, which will provide coverage of the surface of the Earth between latitudes of 65 degrees north and 65 degrees south.
The initial contract for the design and development of the AEHF satellites was awarded to Lockheed Martin Space Systems and Northrop Grumman Space Technology in November 2001, and covered the System Development and Demonstration phase of the program. The contract covered the construction and launch of three satellites, and the construction of a mission control segment. The contract was managed by the MILSATCOM Program Office of the United States Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center. Like the Milstar system, AEHF will be operated by the 4th Space Operations Squadron, located at Schriever Air Force Base.
Main article: USA-214
The first satellite, USA-214, was successfully launched by an Atlas V 531 rocket on 14 August 2010, from Space Launch Complex 41 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. This occurred four years behind schedule; when the contract was awarded in 2000 the first launch was expected to occur in 2006. The program was restructured in October 2004, when the National Security Agency did not deliver key cryptographic equipment to the payload contractor in time to meet the launch schedule.
The Atlas Vlaunch vehicle successfully placed the satellite into a supersynchronous-apogee transfer orbit with 50,000 km (31,060 mile) apogee, 275 kilometer (170 mile) perigee, 22.1° inclination,
Failure of the kick motor, and recovery using the Hall-effect thrusters
The satellite vehicle's Liquid Apogee Engine (LAE) provided by IHI failed to raise the orbit after two attempts. To solve the problem, the perigee altitude was raised to 4700 km (2900 miles) with twelve firings of the smaller Aerojet-provided Reaction Engine Assembly thrusters, originally intended for attitude control during the LAE engine burns. From this altitude, the solar arrays were deployed and the orbit was raised toward the operational orbit over the course of nine months using the 0.27 Newton Hall thrusters, also provided by Aerojet, a form of electric propulsion which is highly efficient, but low thrust. This took much longer than initially intended due to the lower starting altitude for the HCT maneuvers. This led to program delays, as the second and third satellite vehicle LAEs were analyzed. The investigation into the propulsion anomaly has been completed (but not publicly released as of June 2011[update])[needs update] and the remaining satellites were declared flight ready.
A Government Accounting Office report released in July 2011 stated that the blocked fuel line in the Liquid Apogee Engine was most likely caused by a piece of cloth inadvertently left in the line during the manufacturing process.
Like the first AEHF satellite, the second (AEHF-2) was launched on an Atlas V flying in the 531 configuration. The launch from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral took place on 4 May 2012. After three months of maneuvering, it reached its proper position and the testing procedures were started. Completion of checkout of AEHF-2 was announced on 14 Nov. 2012 and control turned over to the 14th Air Force for operations for an expected 14-year service life through 2026.
The third AEHF satellite was launched from Cape Canaveral on 18 September 2013 at 4:10 a.m. EDT. The two-hour window to launch the satellite opened at 3:04 a.m. EDT and the launch occurred as soon as weather-related clouds and high-altitude winds cleared sufficiently to meet the launch criteria.
The launch of the fourth AEHF satellite is scheduled for the fall of 2018.
The fifth AEHF satellite is projected for launch in 2018.
The sixth AEHF satellite is projected for launch in 2019.
- ^Ray, Justin (August 2, 2017). "Two U.S. military satellite launches delayed into next year". Spaceflight Now. Spaceflight Now Inc. Retrieved January 4, 2018.
- ^ abc"AEHF Achieves Initial Operational Capability". Los Angeles Air Force Base. U.S. Air Force. July 30, 2015. Retrieved January 4, 2018.
- ^"Northrup Grumman AEHF". Retrieved 2011-06-15.
- ^"Northrop Grumman". Archived from the original on 2010-03-23. Retrieved 2009-11-11.
- ^"Lockheed Martin". Archived from the original on 11 October 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-12.
- ^GAO-07-406SP Defense Acquisitions: Assessments of Selected Weapon Programs, United States Government Accountability Office, March 30, 2007
- ^ abJustin Ray, SPACEFLIGHT NOW, "Air Force satellite's epic ascent should finish soon". October 9, 2011 (accessed Dec. 14 2011)
- ^"Main engine probably not to blame for AEHF 1 trouble". Archived from the original on 23 October 2010. Retrieved 2010-10-19.
- ^Justin Ray, SPACEFLIGHT NOW, "Investigators probing what went wrong with AEHF 1", Sept. 2, 2010 (accessed Dec. 14, 2011)
- ^"Air Force recoups costs to save stranded AEHF satellite". Retrieved 2011-06-15.
- ^"Spaceflightnow Mission Status Center". Archived from the original on 2012-05-02. Retrieved 2012-05-02.
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- ^ abHalvorsen, Todd (2013-09-18). "Atlas V roars to life with Air Force satellite onboard". Florida Today. Retrieved 2013-09-18.
- ^Atlas V to Launch AEHF-3Archived October 2, 2013, at the Wayback Machine., United Launch Alliance, accessed 2013-09-17.
- ^"Launch Schedule". Jan 2, 2018. Retrieved January 4, 2018.
- ^Gruss, Mike (June 10, 2016). "ULA to launch Air Force's AEHF-5 satellite in 2018". Retrieved January 4, 2018.
- ^ ab"USAF's sixth AEHF satellite to feature 3D printed part". Air Force Technology. Kable Intelligence Limited. April 6, 2017. Retrieved January 4, 2018.