The U.S. Space Force’s sixth AEHF-6 protected communications satellite built by Lockheed Martin completed its On-Orbit Test (OOT) period on Aug. 27, 2020.
“Successful OOT demonstrates that all space vehicle performance requirements have been met and that we are on track for satellite control authority handover to Space Operations Command before the end of the year,” said Erik Daehler, director of Lockheed Martin’s Protected Communications mission area.
Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF-6) will be part of a geostationary ring of ten satellites in the AEHF-MILSTAR constellation delivering global coverage for survivable, highly secure and protected communications for strategic command and tactical warfighters operating on ground, sea and air platforms. The satellite adds increased resiliency and advanced capabilities to this constellation, which ensures the ability to transmit data anywhere, anytime.
AEHF-6 was successfully launched about five months ago, on March 26, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 551 rocket. The launch was the first mission launch for the U.S. Space Force.
As prime contractor, Lockheed Martin Space developed and manufactured all six AEHF satellites at its production facility located in Sunnyvale, California. In November 2019, the company was awarded $3.33 billion to support Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF), Milstar and other satellites meant to relay secure communications for the armed forces of United States, Britain, Canada, Netherlands and Australia.
The AEHF team is led by the Production Corps, Geosynchronous Earth Orbit/Polar Division, at the U.S. Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center, located at Los Angeles Air Force Base, California.