Lockheed Martin has enclosed the U.S. Air Force's fourth Advanced Extremely High Frequency communications satellite in a payload fairing in preparation for its Oct. 17 launch atop United Launch Alliance's Atlas V rocket.
Mike Cacheiro, vice president of protected communications at Lockheed, said in a statement published Monday AEHF-4 will complete a constellation of satellites that will provide “global extended data rate“ service for the Air Force and allies such as the U.K., Canada and the Netherlands.
Cacheiro noted the company has begun production work on the constellation's fifth and sixth AEHF satellites.
The AEHF satellite constellation is designed to provide protected communications capabilities for U.S. and allied warfighters operating on ground, maritime and aerial platforms.
Lockheed produced AEHF-4 at its facility in Sunnyvale, Calif., and delivered the satellite to Florida in July in preparation for its lift-off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
Lockheed serves as the prime contractor on the AEHF satellite development effort and Northrop Grumman manufactures the payloads for the satellites.