Netherlands Becomes Second International AEHF User

The Netherlands recently became the second international partner, after Canada, to communicate using the Air Force’s Advanced Extremely High Frequency satellite system, announced prime contractor Lockheed Martin on Sept. 12. Dutch military forces exchanged voice and data communications with US and Canadian participants via ground terminals connected to the two on-orbit AEHF spacecraft during the July tests, according to the company’s release. Canada became the first international partner to connect to AEHF in May. Britain is expected to complete its first connection by year’s end, according to the company. “AEHF’s ability to securely connect allies together is vital to current and future operations,” said Mark Calassa, Lockheed Martin’s vice president of protected communications systems. He added, “We will launch a third satellite next week, and those users testing the system are extremely satisfied with this leap forward in capability.” In a separate release, issued Sept. 11, Lockheed announced that AEHF-3, the third satellite, is now encapsulated in its payload fairing in preparation for its scheduled launch into orbit on Sept. 18 aboard an Atlas V rocket fired from Cape Canaveral AFS, Fla.