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Space Force Updates AEHF Constellation Software

Satellite upgrade

Space Force Updates AEHF Constellation Software

The U.S. Space Force has delivered the fourth and penultimate software update to the Advanced Extremely High Frequency system, a jam-resistant six-satellite constellation that allows for secure, high-priority military communications.

The modification enables endurance mission re-planning and provides users access to and control over protocol messages for the satellites.

A final software update will be delivered in December 2022, which, according to the Space and Missile Systems Center, includes crypto planning and situational awareness capabilities, C4ISRNET reported.

Lockheed Martin works with the AEHF program’s Mission Planning Element to carry out the software upgrades. The first three software capability insertion increments were operationally accepted from 2017 to 2019.

Classified-level communications enabled by the AEHF system benefit strategic command and tactical warfighters operating on ground, sea and air platforms, as well as international partners in Canada, the U.K., the Netherlands and Australia.

Barbara Baker, SMC Production Corps Command and Control Systems Division’s senior materiel leader, said the software enhancements demonstrate the ability of the Space Force to incrementally field operational capability to guardians and international partners at the speed of relevance.

The six-satellite lineup of the AEHF system was completed in March 2020. The constellation was launched to replace the Milstar communications system, whose maiden satellite launch dates back to 1994.

According to Lockheed, one AEHF satellite has a greater total capacity than the entire legacy five-satellite Milstar constellation. The five-fold individual data rate increase offered by AEHF satellites facilitates the transmission of real-time video, battlefield maps and targeting data, the aerospace company said.

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Category: Space