The first Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) military communications satellite was encapsulated into the fairing in preparation for a mid-August liftoff aboard an Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.

Designed and built by Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Sunnyvale, Calif., the AEHF will deliver survivable, protected, secure links to U.S. national leaders, air, land and sea forces, providing rapid, global coverage for the nation’s strategic forces, the Air Force’s space warning assets and operationally deployed military forces. The AEHF constellation will also serve international partners including Canada, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

One AEHF satellite will provide greater total capacity that the entire Milstar constellation. Individual user data rates will be five times improved. The higher data rates will permit transmission of tactical military communication such as real-time video, battlefield maps and targeting data.

The AEHF team is led by the U.S. Air Force Military Satellite Communications Systems Wing at the Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif. Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, Sunnyvale, Calif., is the AEHF prime contractor and system manager, with Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems, Redondo Beach, Calif., as the payload provider.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 136,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation’s 2009 sales from continuing operations were $44.5 billion.

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