AEHF-6 is Encapsulated Ahead of Launch

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  • SMC Public Affairs

The U.S. Space Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) sixth Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF-6) communications satellite, built by Lockheed Martin Space, was encapsulated Feb 27 at the Astrotech Space Operations processing facility in Titusville, Florida.

Encapsulation within the United Launch Alliance’s payload fairing is a significant milestone in AEHF-6’s launch process, as it marks the completion of all major testing activity prior to launch. SMC, the nation’s launch and satellite procurer of choice, shepherded all major testing activity, including authoring, monitoring and executing the test plan and ensuring all rigorous testing requirements were met.

AEHF-6 made the journey to Space Launch Complex-41, where it was mated with its Atlas V launch vehicle for the first USSF mission, March 11. The launch window is currently scheduled to open at 2:57 p.m. EDT on March 26.

AEHF is a joint service satellite communications system that provides survivable, global, secure, protected and jam-resistant communications for high-priority military ground, sea and air assets. The AEHF system is the follow-on to the Milstar constellation, augmenting, improving and expanding upon the DoD’s Military Satellite Communications (MILSATCOM) architecture.

The MILSATCOM architecture consists of satellites, terminals and control stations that ensure communications for more than 16,000 air, land and sea platforms. SMC plans, acquires and sustains these space-based global communication assets which support the President, Secretary of Defense and combat forces.

Media representatives who would like to interview a subject matter expert or learn more about the AEHF-6 launch should send an email to