AEHF System receives new software update

  • Published
  • By Space and Missile Systems Center Public Affairs

The U.S. Space Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center delivered the fourth Advanced Extremely High Frequency Mission Planning Element software increment into operations May 19, 2021, with the operational baseline updated June 25, improving AEHF capabilities by providing endurance mission re-planning and enhancing the system to allow international partners to access and control satellite protocol messages.

The AEHF mission control segment controls satellites on orbit, monitors satellite health, and provides communication system planning and monitoring. The AEHF mission planning element, part of the overall AEHF system, provides efficient network and resource allocation across the constellation.

As the number of Extended Data Rate waveform users increased since the AEHF system obtained Initial Operational Capability back on July 28, 2015, additional communication bandwidth and system efficiencies were required to support the fluctuating operational environment and as future requirements change.

Since IOC, the AEHF MPE planned five capability insertion increments and to-date has operationally delivered four of the five increments. The previous three increments were operationally accepted every December from 2017-2019. Lockheed Martin Space is the prime contractor for the AEHF MPE upgrades.

The final fifth increment was awarded in April 2020 and is currently in development with a planned operational acceptance in December 2022. The fifth increment will deliver crypto planning, Worldwide Extremely High Frequency Beyond-line-of-Sight Terminal and Rapid Adaptive Planning and Situational Awareness for the warfighter.

“The AEHF Mission Planning Element enhancements are a great example of the U.S. Space Force ability to incrementally field operational capability to our warfighter Guardians and international partners at the speed of relevance,” said Ms. Barbara Baker, Senior Materiel Leader for the Space Production Corps Command and Control Systems Division.

AEHF is a joint-service communications satellite providing survivable, global, secure, protected and jam-resistant communications for high-priority military ground, sea and air assets. AEHF also provides protected satellite communications to four international partners including Australia, Canada, Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. AEHF allows the National Security Council and Unified Combatant Commanders to control their tactical and strategic forces at all levels of conflict through general nuclear war and supports the attainment of information superiority.