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Lockheed Martin Completes Major Test Of First Advanced Military Communications Satellite

Advanced EHF satellites will provide greater total capacity than the entire Milstar constellation and offer channel data rates higher than the current Milstar communications satellites.
by Staff Writers
Sunnyvale CA (SPX) Oct 31, 2007
Lockheed Martin has completed a major test of the first Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) satellite, demonstrating its readiness to enter the critical environmental test phase in preparation for launch in late 2008. The Advanced EHF system will provide global, highly secure, protected, survivable communications for all warfighters serving under the U.S. Department of Defense.

The test of the Advanced EHF spacecraft, known as Baseline Integrated System Test (BIST), was conducted from July 27 to Oct. 23, 2007 at Lockheed Martin's Space Systems facilities inSunnyvale, Calif. The test characterized the performance of the integrated satellite and established a performance baseline prior to entering environmental testing.

"Completion of this integrated satellite test is an important milestone in our goal to deploy this first of a new generation of military communications satellites next year," said Leonard F. Kwiatkowski, Lockheed Martin vice president and general manager of Military Space programs. "We look forward to executing a disciplined environmental test phase and achieving mission success for our customer."

The completion of BIST allows the team of Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Sunnyvale, Calif., the Advanced EHF prime contractor, and Northrop Grumman Space Technology, Redondo Beach, Calif., the payload supplier, to begin environmental testing including acoustic and thermal vacuum testing.

Advanced EHF satellites will provide greater total capacity than the entire Milstar constellation and offer channel data rates higher than the current Milstar communications satellites. The higher data rates permit transmission of secure, tactical military communications such as real-time video, battlefield maps and targeting data.

Lockheed Martin is currently under contract to provide three Advanced EHF satellites and the command control system to its customer, the Military Satellite Communications Systems Wing, located at the Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif.

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