AEHF-4 Arrives in Florida, Prepares for Launch

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  • SMC Public Affairs

The U.S. Air Force’s Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) program completed a major program milestone on July 27, successfully delivering the AEHF-4 satellite to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.


“AEHF-4 delivery and launch marks a significant milestone in fulfilling our communication commitment to the highest priority Department of Defense ground, sea, and air missions.  It’s an important asset for the warfighter and will be employed for years to come.” said Lt.  Gen. John Thompson, Space and Missiles Systems Center commander and Air Force program executive officer for space.


The delivery of AEHF-4 sets the path for final checkout of the space vehicle before launch.  The satellite will be processed in the Astrotech Space Operations processing facility.


A combined government and contractor team is already executing the final ground activities including a Launch Base Confidence Test to verify satellite integrity after shipment, an intersegment test to verify communication compatibility from the satellite to the ground operations center, and the final battery reconditioning for launch.  Following these activities, the satellite will be fueled and prepared for integration with the Atlas V launch vehicle.


“The entire AEHF team met a number of program objectives leading to this important milestone” added Col. David Ashley, chief, Protected SATCOM Division.  “There is great enthusiasm and excitement across our entire workforce.”  The AEHF-4 satellite is scheduled for launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Oct. 5.


The satellite was transported from the Lockheed Martin satellite integration facility in Sunnyvale, California, via a C-5 Galaxy aircraft.  The C-5 crew from the 22nd Airlift Squadron, Travis Air Force Base, California, ensured the satellite was transported safely and according to the time sensitive schedule.  The security support provided by the 129th Rescue Wing, California Air National Guard, was essential to the success of the mission.  “Safe transport of the AEHF satellite was paramount and the total government and contractor team worked tirelessly to ensure mission success,” Thompson said.


The AEHF constellation is designed to replace the Milstar satellite constellation.  AEHF will continue to provide survivable, global, secure, protected, and jam-resistant communications for high-priority military ground, sea, and air assets.


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