Air Force launches 3rd Advanced Satellite

Press Release From:
Posted: Thursday, September 19, 2013

The 45th Space Wing successfully launched the third Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) satellite onboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V vehicle here Sept. 18 from launch pad 41 at 4:10 a.m.

AEHF-1 was launched in August of 2010 and AEHF-2 was launched in May of 2012, both from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

The rocket flew in the 531 vehicle configuration with a five-meter fairing, three solid rocket boosters and a single-engine Centaur upper stage.

AEHF is a joint service satellite communications system that will provide 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 system, augmenting, improving and expanding the Department of Defense's Military Satellite Communications architecture.

AEHF-3 was procured from Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company by the MILSATCOM Systems Directorate, part of the Air Force's Space and Missile Systems Center. The MILSATCOM Systems Directorate plans, acquires and sustains space-based global communications in support of the president, secretary of defense and combat forces. The entire MILSATCOM enterprise consists of satellites, terminals and control stations and provides communications for more than 16,000 air, land and sea platforms.

The commander of the 45th Space Wing praised the work of all those involved in making this launch a success.

"It is wonderful to witness the teamwork between our wing and all our partners involved in making this mission a success," said Brig. Gen. Nina Armagno, who also served as the Launch Decision Authority for the launch from the Morrell Operations Center here at the Cape.

"This successful launch helps to ensure that vital communications will continue to bolster our nation's military capabilities and showcases once again why the 45th Space Wing is the world's premiere gateway to space," she added.

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