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Satnews Daily
May 2nd, 2019

On-Orbit Test of the AEHF-4 Spacecraft is a Success for Lockheed Martin

Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) has successfully completed their AEHF-4 spacecraft on-orbit test (A4 OOT) that demonstrated the craft has met all requirements.

A4 OOT was the first test to have all six AEHF operational terminals communicating over XDR. The terminal types include AEHF SMART-T, FAB-T, MMPU, NMT, Global ASNT and ACF-IC2.

The addition of AEHF-4 to the constellation provides a new capability of global extended data rate (XDR) communications. XDR communications provides data rates to its users five times higher than medium data rate (MDR) and 350 times higher than low data rate (LDR) communications. Milstar, the predecessor to AEHF, uses both LDR and MDR communication modes to directly support the warfighter.

This was the last step before control authority of the satellite is handed over to the U.S. Air Force SMC where it will join the combined AEHF-Milstar constellation. 

The AEHF constellation provides global, survivable, highly secure and protected communications for strategic command and tactical warfighters operating on ground, sea and air platforms. The jam-resistant system also serves international partners including Canada, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

Mike Cacheiro, VP of Protected Communications for Military Space, said this is a major milestone to celebrate with the customers at Space and Missiles Systems Center (SMC), the U.S. Air Force and  teammates Northrop Grumman, L3 Communications and Aerojet. As the company turns the focus on launching AEHF-5 in June, one month early, congratulations to everyone involved in completing this one of a kind, high-performance network in space. This is a tremendous accomplishment for the AEHF program.