ULA Preps Atlas V Rocket for Fourth AEHF Military Comms Satellite Launch; Gary Wentz Quoted

Gary Wentz

United Launch Alliance has begun final preparations to launch a Lockheed Martin-built military communications satellite for the U.S. Air Force on Wednesday at Cape Canaveral AF Station in Florida.

ULA said Friday its Atlas V 551 rocket will carry the fourth Advanced Extremely High Frequency spacecraft designed to help command and tactical forces transmit data.

Lockheed delivered AEHF-4 to Cape Canaveral in August and encapsulated the satellite into the system’s payload fairing earlier this month.

“We are proud to launch this critical satellite for the U.S. Air Force and demonstrate our strong support of our nation’s national defense and the warfighter community,” said Gary Wentz, vice president of government and commercial programs at ULA.

For Wednesday’s mission, the Atlas V 551 launch vehicle will use an RD-180 first stage engine from RD Amross, as well as five AJ-60A solid rocket boosters and an RL10C-1 upper stage engine from Aerojet Rocketdyne.

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