The U.S. Space Force plans to request nearly $8 billion over the next five years to scale up development of classified communications satellite networks
The Senate Appropriations Committee questioned why it will take the U.S. Space Force 12 years to acquire new jam-resistant communications satellites.
The contract is for the Evolved Strategic Satellite Communications program, known as Evolved Strategic Satcom.
The sixth Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF-6) communications satellite successfully completed on-orbit testing Aug. 27.
SMC Commander Lt. Gen. Thompson: “The AEHF launch is one of those we consider absolutely mission essential.”
The AEHF-6 mission scheduled for March 19 will fly a 12U multi-manifest satellite carrying multiple U.S. government payloads.
The 10-year contract is for operations and support of the Advanced Extremely High Frequency, Milstar and Defense Satellite Communications System constellations.
On the way to its target orbit, the Atlas’ Centaur upper stage rocket released a cubesat that was riding as a secondary payload.
An Atlas 5 carrying AEHF-5 lifted off at 6:13 AM EST from Space Launch Complex-41 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
The Air Force integrated a 12U cubesat on the Centaur’s aft bulkhead carrier.