Military satellite ready for launch

Aug. 13, 2010 at 2:44 PM
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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla., Aug. 13 (UPI) -- The Lockheed-built Advanced Extremely High Frequency military communications satellite is on an Atlas V rocket awaiting liftoff in Florida.

Launch of the Atlas V is scheduled for Saturday morning from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

Lockheed Martin, which not only built the satellite but designed it as well, said the AEHF system will provide survivable, protected, assured, communications to the U.S. government, warfighters and international partners, including the United Kingdom, Canada and the Netherlands.

Just one AEHF will provide 10 times more total capacity and offer channel data rates six times higher than that of the five Milstar II satellites now in orbit, Lockheed Martin said.

The higher data rates permit transmission of tactical military communications such as real-time video, battlefield maps and targeting data.

"AEHF represents a new era of global protected communications that will provide significantly improved, assured connectivity to a greater number of warfighters," said Mike Davis, Lockheed Martin's AEHF vice president. "The team has executed a smooth and efficient transition to the launch pad and we look forward to achieving mission success for our customer."

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