Advanced Extremely High Frequency Satellite System provides global, secure, protected, and jam-resistant military communications. It enhances the previous Milstar satellites and operates at a much higher capacity and data rate. It offers secure, anti-jam tactical and strategic communications around the world.
AEHF uses cross-linked satellites, eliminating the need for ground relay stations. The program is a collaboration with Canada, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.
Launch of SV-4 was originally slated for Oct. 17, 2017, but an issue with the system’s power regulator prompted USAF to delay launch a year to enable a hardware fix. SV-4 launched on Oct. 17, 2018, paved the way for full operational capability declared when the vehicle joined the constellation operationally on May 3, 2019.
SV-5 launched Aug. 8, 2019, after a several-month delay due to its launch vehicle, and SV-6 launched from Cape Canaveral on March 26, 2020, marking the newly formed USSF’s first launch. SV-6 became operational after completing on-orbit checks on Aug. 22, 2020, completing the constellation.
USSF plans to begin replacing AEHF with the next-generation Evolved Strategic SATCOM (ESS) starting in the early 2030s.
Contractors: Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman.
Operator/Location: USSF SpOC; Schriever SFB, Colo.
First Launch: August 2010.
Design Life: 14 years.
Launch Vehicle: Atlas V.
Active Satellites: •AEHF SV-1. Launched in 2010, on orbit and operational. •AEHF SV-2. Launched in 2012, on orbit and operational. •AEHF SV-3. Launched in 2013, on orbit and operational. •AEHF SV-4. Launched in 2018, on orbit and operational. •AEHF SV-5. Launched in 2019, on orbit and operational. •AEHF SV-6. Launched in 2020, on orbit and operational. Dimensions: Length 31 ft, width 98 ft (with full solar array extension).
Dimensions: Length 31 ft, width 98 ft (with full solar array extension).
Weight: 13,400 lb.
Performance: 24-hr low, medium, and extended data rate connectivity from 65 north to 65 south latitude worldwide.
Orbit Altitude: Geosynchronous at 22,000+ miles.
Power: Solar arrays generating 20,000 watts.