Canada has become the first international partner to communicate using the Advanced Extremely High Frequency satellite system, announced manufacturer Lockheed Martin. A U.S.-Canada team recently made contact with the AEHF-1 satellite from a SMART-T terminal near Ottawa, Canada, allowing them to share data with the U.S. Air Force’s 4th Space Operations Squadron at Schriever AFB, Colo. “This event was an integrated effort that spanned countries, armed services, and product lines. It shows our employees are delivering a complex system that works well, enhances capability and improves allied missions,” said Mark Calassa, vice president of protected communications at Lockheed Martin. Canada is one of three AEHF international partners; the other two, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, are expected to test their first terminal connections by the end of the year, states the release. The AEHF satellite system is designed to improve communications among warfighters on the ground, sea, and air, as well as provide communication links to national leaders, including the President.
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.