The Military Satellite Communications Systems Directorate announced Dec. 17 the award of a cost-plus-incentive-fee contract modification valued at approximately $1.4 billion to Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Sunnyvale, Calif., for production of the fourth Advanced Extremely High Frequency satellite.
The production contract includes manufacturing, integration and test of the fourth AEHF space vehicle. The satellite is contracted to be available for launch in 2017.
AEHF is the successor to the five-satellite Milstar constellation and will provide 10 times greater global, highly secure, protected, survivable communications capability for warfighters operating on ground, sea and air platforms.
AEHF-1 was launched Aug. 14 out of Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. and is currently in an orbit-raising phase. AEHF-2 has completed production and is in storage until its scheduled launch in 2012. AEHF-3 is undergoing thermal-vacuum testing and is on track to complete production in 2011.
The MILSATCOM Systems Directorate executes an annual budget of more than $2.4 billion as it plans for, acquires and sustains space-based global communications in support of the president, secretary of defense and combat forces. The $40 billion MILSATCOM enterprise consists of satellites, terminals and control stations and provides communications for more than 16,000 air, land and sea platforms.