The 45th Space Wing at Cape Canaveral AFS, Fla., and its industry partners have successfully placed AEHF-1, the first advanced extremely high frequency military communications satellite, in space. “This is an historic launch of an important asset to our nation’s military and our allies,” said Erin Conaton, Air Force undersecretary. A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket carried AEHF-1 aloft from Cape Canaveral on Aug. 14. The Air Force is buying at least four AEHF spacecraft. They will replace the current five-satellite Milstar constellation. AEHF-1 alone will provide greater total capacity than all five Milstar spacecraft, once it begins operations after on-orbit checkout. Conaton said AEHF-1’s “benefits will be felt in special operations, strategic nuclear deterrence, strategic defense, theater missile defense, and space operations and intelligence.” Lockheed Martin is the AEHF prime contractor. (Cape Canaveral report by 1st Lt. Karl Wiest) (Lockheed Martin release)
Rumored cuts to the F-35 from the fiscal 2025 defense budget—six from Air Force plans—would not be offset by recent Foreign Military Sales, and will disrupt ongoing Lot 19 negotiations, Pentagon and industry sources said.