25 June 2014
The protected communications payload built by Northrop Grumman Corp. (NYSE: NOC) for the US Air Force´s third advanced extremely high frequency satellite has completed on orbit testing ahead of schedule without any discrepancies, matching the high performance levels of others the company has provided.
Launched Sept. 18, 2013, aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket, AEHF-3 reached its final position in geostationary orbit in January 2014. The payload began transmitting as planned when it was activated for the first time at that point, said Stuart Linsky, vice president, communication programs, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems.
As a result, AEHF-3 has been integrated in a constellation of satellites forming a “ring of protection” around the Earth that provides the only global, highly secure, protected, survivable communications for warfighters operating on ground, sea and air platforms.
The constellation now includes five Milstar and three AEHF satellites, all communicating with each other via satellite-to-satellite crosslinks a capability exclusive to Milstar and AEHF within the MILSATCOM enterprise. Northrop Grumman has provided all payloads for AEHF satellites to the prime contractor, Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Sunnyvale, Calif.
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AEHF-3 completes on orbit testing ahead of schedule
25 June 2014