First AEHF Satellite Enters Final Testing

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The first Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) secure communications satellite, built for the U.S. Air Force by Lockheed Martin Space Systems and slated to launch in 2010, has entered final testing, the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company announced Sept. 10. The testing is being done in Sunnyvale and is expected to last 75 days.

The U.S. Air Force has ordered three AEHF satellites from Lockheed Martin and recently awarded the company a $22 million contract for procurement of long-lead parts for a fourth AEHF spacecraft expected to be under contract by the end of the year. The Air Force intends to buy six AEHF satellites in all.