The new mission control segment for the Air Force’s forthcoming constellation of advanced extremely high frequency communications satellites is now operating, prime contractor Lockheed Martin announced Tuesday. This ground control system is now running the current Milstar communications satellites on orbit and will control the AEHF satellites once they are in space, according to the company. “This is a key milestone that will assure continuous and vital communications for the warfighter from the legacy system to the new, higher capability AEHF satellite system,” said Mike Davis, Lockheed AEHF vice president. The first AEHF satellite is scheduled for launch into orbit later this month from Cape Canaveral AFS, Fla. AEHF satellites will succeed the five-satellite Milstar constellation in providing global, highly secure, protected, and survivable communications to US combat forces. Lockheed is the AEHF prime contractor.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.