ULA Launches Atlas V With Military Satellite On Board

Rodiano Bonacci
Ottobre 18, 2018

- A United Launch Alliance Atlas V 551 rocket successfully carried a military communications satellite into orbit early Wednesday morning from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Built by Lockheed Martin, AEHF-4 is the fourth in aseries of high-powered military communications created to "provide survivable, global, secure, and jam-resistant communications for high-priority military ground, sea, and air assets", according to a U.S. Air Force description. Lockheed Martin is building six satellites in all for the US military. Created to replace the US military's Milstar system, a constellation of military satellites operated by the US Air Force, AEHF-4 is preceded by three satellites and will be joined an additional two to complete the project.

"The mission of AEHF is to provide survivable protected communications for the military's high-priority assets on the ground, at sea and in the air", said Maj.

"It also enables the president of the United States and combatant commanders to control their tactical and strategic forces through all levels of war and all phases of conflict". ULA, a joint venture between Boeing and Lockheed Martin, has already launched the first three AEHF satellites in 2010, 2012 and 2013.

It's unclear when the sixth satellite will be sent into orbit.

"It's an important asset for the warfighter and will be employed for years to come", Lt. Gen. John Thompson of the USAF Space and Missiles Systems Center in Los Angeles said of AEHF-4 in a statement when the satellite was delivered to its launch site in July.

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