ULA Delays Launch of U.S. Air Force’s AEHF-5 Communications Satellite

The United Launch Alliance (ULA) has announced that the launch mission of U.S. Air Force’s AEHF-5 military communications satellite abroad Atlas V rocket is delayed.

The ULA statement said that the delay is “due to an anomaly during component testing at a supplier which has created a cross-over concern”. The statement added that additional time is needed for the team to review the component anomaly and determine if any corrective action is required to the launch vehicle.

Launch of the AEHF-5 mission is now targeted for no earlier than Thursday, Aug. 8 from the Space Launch Complex-41 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) in Florida.

ULA will use an Atlas V 551 rocket to launch the fifth satellite in the Lockheed Martin-built Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) series for the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC). Atlas V rockets successfully launched the first four AEHF satellites in 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2018.

AEHF is a joint service satellite communications system that will provide survivable, global, secure, protected, and jam-resistant communications for high-priority military ground, sea, and air assets. The AEHF system is the follow-on to the Milstar system, augmenting, improving, and expanding the Department of Defense’s MILSATCOM architecture.

The AEHF-5 launch will mark the 80th Atlas V mission since the inaugural launch in 2002 and the 10th in the 551 configuration.

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