Production Contract for AEHF-5, AEHF-6 Satellites

The Air Force awarded Lockheed Martin a $1.9 billion fixed-price contract toward the production of the fifth and sixth Advanced Extremely High Frequency military communications satellites, announced the company at its Facebook page on Wednesday. “This production contract affirms the government’s confidence in Lockheed Martin’s ability to deliver these spacecraft affordably and efficiently to meet the burgeoning demand from strategic and tactical users worldwide,” said Mark Calassa, the company’s vice president for protected space communications, in a corresponding release. The Air Force first announced this deal in the Pentagon’s list of major contracts for Dec. 28 and then posted it again in amended form in the contracts list for Dec. 31. Already the first two AEHF satellites are on orbit. The third is expected to go into space in September and assembly of AEHF-4 is progressing on schedule, according to the company. AEHF satellites complement and will eventually replace Milstar spacecraft, offering much greater communications throughput. The new contract reflects evolution of the AEHF program to a fixed-price structure as part of a larger cost savings plan, states the company release.