The fifth Advanced Extremely High Frequency satellite was officially transferred to Space Operations Command Feb. 3, marking its final milestone

“This was very much a team effort from our industry partners and dedicated Government professionals, with their focus on mission success this major milestone was accomplished,” said Col John Dukes, senior materiel leader for the Space Production Corps’ Geosynchronous Orbit Division, in a statement. “AEHF satellites play a critical role for the warfighter and the defense of our nation. Space is fundamental to our way of life, our economy relies on space and this reliance will continue to grow.”

Built by Lockheed Martin, AEHF-5 was launched Aug. 8, 2019, on a United Launch Alliance Atlas-V rocket.

AEHF is intended to replace the MILSTAR constellation in providing protected, anti-jamming satellite communications to high-priority United States military assets and its international partners in Canada, United Kingdom, Netherlands and Australia. Just one AEHF satellites has three time more capacity than the whole MILSTAR constellation put together, and the entire AEHF constellation will provide 10 times more throughput and increase coverage.

The sixth and final AEHF satellite has been transported to Cape Canaveral, Florida, for an scheduled Mar. 19 launch aboard an Atlas V rocket.

Nathan Strout covers space, unmanned and intelligence systems for C4ISRNET.

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