Advanced EHF Payloads

The next-generation military strategic and tactical relay system.

satellite in space above earth

Assured, Protected, Survivable Communications

The U.S. Air Force’s Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) system is the nation’s next-generation military strategic and tactical relay system, which will deliver survivable, protected communications to U.S. forces and selected allies worldwide. When fully operational, the system will consist of four crosslinked satellites, a ground mission control center and user terminals.


Assured Connectivity

The AEHF system provides joint, interoperable, assured connectivity for warfighters in operations in all levels of conflict–a capability not available through other planned military communication networks. AEHF provides greater capacity and more flexible coverage than its predecessor, Milstar, while assuring operational continuity through compatibility with the Milstar constellation.

Under contract to Lockheed Martin, the AEHF prime contractor and overall space system manager, Northrop Grumman delivered three communications payloads ahead of schedule and is building a fourth currently.

AEHF-1 (Advanced Extreme High Frequency) Satellite


The AEHF payload consists of processors, antennas, radio frequency subsystems and crosslinks. The payload delivers the new XDR (Extreme Data Rate) communications services, providing data rates up to 8.192 Mbps per user, Milstar LDR (Low Data Rate) services (75 - 2,400 bits per second), and Milstar MDR (Medium Data Rate) services (4.8 Kbps - 1.544 Mbps).

AEHF delivers the flexible connectivity-on-demand needed to achieve 21st century objectives–swift, decisive outcomes based on information dominance. On-orbit processing provides the flexibility needed to rapidly establish and reconfigure networks to meet dynamic command and control requirements.

In the News

3 Polar Bears

Northrop Grumman Awarded $429M Contract for Payload that will Provide Continuous Coverage of Polar Regions

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Bringing Protected Satellite Communications to the Tactical User: Industry Team Successfully Tests Low Cost Terminal with On-Orbit AEHF Satellite

two engineers in clean suits working on spacecraft

Northrop Grumman Completes Delivery of the Fifth AEHF Protected Communications Payload

Media Contact

David Larter