AEHF-5 in transfer orbit
The satellite separated from its United Launch Alliance Atlas V 551 rocket approximately 5.5 hours after its launch and transferred into the control of the US Air Force's 4th Space Operations Squadron at Schriever Air Force Base.
AEHF-5 complete a geostationary ring of five satellites delivering global coverage for survivable, highly secure and protected communications for strategic command and tactical military forces operating on ground, sea and air platforms. In addition to the US military, AEHF also serves international partners including Canada and the UK.
AEHF-5, with its advanced Extended Data Rate waveform technology, adds to the constellation's high-bandwidth network. One AEHF satellite provides greater total capacity than the entire legacy five-satellite Milstar communications constellation.
Mike Cacheiro, vice president for Protected Communications at Lockheed Martin Space, said: ‘This fifth satellite adds an additional layer of flexibility for critical strategic and tactical protected communications serving the warfighter. This added resilience to the existing constellation will help ensure warfighters can connect globally to communicate and transmit data at all times.
‘In the weeks ahead, AEHF-5 will move towards its operational orbit, deploy all of its solar arrays and antennas, and turn on its powerful communications payload for a rigorous testing phase prior to hand over to the air force.’
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