First AEHF Satellite Concludes Orbital Shakedown

On-orbit testing has concluded for the Air Force’s first Advanced Extremely High Frequency military communications satellite, now designated SV-1, announced prime contractor Lockheed Martin. “I am extremely proud of the team that raised SV-1 to geosynchronous orbit and successfully demonstrated its on-orbit performance,” said Kevin Bilger, the company’s Global Communications Systems vice president and general manager. This milestone paves the way for the transfer of SV-1’s control to airmen of the 50th Space Wing at Schriever AFB, Colo., according to the company. SV-1 reached space on Aug. 14, 2010, but it took until Oct. 24, 2011, for it to arrive at its intended operational orbit due to an anomaly with the satellite’s propulsion. AEHF satellites will provide significantly improved global protected communications to the US military and national leadership compared to the Milstar constellation currently on orbit. The second AEHF spacecraft last month arrived at Cape Canaveral AFS, Fla., for its scheduled launch in late April.