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Program: Advanced EHF

Also called AEHF

US military program of telecommunication satellites to replace Milstar. The system will consist of 4 satellites (with in-orbit links) covering from 65° north to 65° south. Transmission rates should be 10 times those of Milstar 2. Approx 500 Mbps throughput per satellite, the segments will provide communications in a specified set of data rates from 75 bps to approximately 8 Mbps.

The satellites are to be built by a team made of Lockheed Martin (prime contractor) and TRW (payload integrator). In Nov 2001 the team won a contract worth $3.2 billion to begin the development and demonstration phase. Should cost approx $6.1 billion.

Initial plans: first satellite launch planned in 2006, last satellite to be in orbit in Dec 2011. Real life: first satellite launched in mid-2010.

In Jul 2002 a report recommends to cancel the last 2 satellites and to replaced them by a laser communication system.
In Jan 2006, the 3rd satellite was ordered from Lockheed Martin for $491.2 million.
In Dec 2010, a 4th satellite was ordered from Lockheed Martin.
In Dec 2012, 2 more satellites were ordered from Lockheed Martin (worth $1.9 billion), but not be worked on before fiscal year 2019.

In 2020 Northrop Grumman has been awarded a contract by the US Space Force for the rapid prototyping phase of the Evolved Strategic SATCOM (ESS) program to develop a modernised space segment.

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