Press Release

Major Integration Milestone Achieved on Lockheed Martin-Built Advanced Military Communications Satellite

By SpaceRef Editor
June 18, 2007
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Lockheed Martin announced today that it has successfully integrated the spacecraft propulsion core structure and the payload module for the first Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) satellite. The Advanced EHF system will provide global, highly secure, protected, survivable communications for all warfighters serving under the U.S. Department of Defense.

Based on Lockheed Martin’s flight-proven A2100 geosynchronous spacecraft series, the core structure contains the integrated propulsion system as well as panels and other components that serve as the structural foundation of the satellite. The payload module consists of spacecraft electronics as well as the complete set of payload processing, routing and control hardware and software that perform the satellite’s communications function.

The successful integration 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 system level environmental and acceptance testing in preparation for launch in mid-2008.

“The integration of this technically complex hardware is the result of our team’s attention to detail and relentless focus on operational excellence and mission success for our customer,” Jeff Smith, Lockheed Martin’s AEHF vice president and program manager. “We continue to make solid progress on this critical program and look forward to the successful launch of this sophisticated satellite next year.”

Advanced EHF satellites will provide greater total capacity and offer channel data rates higher than that of the current Milstar communications satellites. The higher data rates permit transmission of 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.

The company is leveraging its proven record of building advanced military communications systems for the next-generation Transformational Satellite Communications System (TSAT), which will ultimately replace the Milstar and Advanced EHF programs. The Lockheed Martin/Northrop Grumman TSAT Space Segment team is currently working under a Risk Reduction and System Definition phase, with the Air Force expected to award a multi-billion dollar development contract to a single contractor in late 2007.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin employs about 140,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation reported 2006 sales of $39.6 billion.

SpaceRef staff editor.