The United Launch Alliance (ULA) is scheduled to launch the U.S. Air Force’s fifth Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF-5) military communications satellite abroad an Atlas V 551 rocket on Thursday, Aug. 8.
The launch will take place from from the Space Launch Complex-41 (SLC-41) of the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) in Florida. The two-hour launch window opens at 5:44 a.m. EDT and extend to 7:44 a.m. EDT (1144 UTC), a duration of 120 minutes.
The launch was initially scheduled on June 27 but was delayed “due to an anomaly during component testing at a supplier which has created a cross-over concern”, according to ULA.
The AEHF-5 launch will mark the 80th Atlas V mission since the inaugural launch in 2002 and the 10th in the 551 configuration.
AEHF-5 is the fifth of the series of six Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) communications satellites ebeing developed for the U.S. Air Force Space Command (AFSPC)’s 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 U.S. Department of Defense’s MILSATCOM architecture. AEHF system will consist of six satellites in geostationary orbits, four of which have been launched.
The AEHF team is led by the U.S. Air Force Military Satellite Communications Systems Directorate at the Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif. Lockheed Martin Space, Sunnyvale, Calif., is the AEHF prime contractor and system manager, with Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems, Redondo Beach, Calif., as the satellite payload provider.