Bangkok Post

Space Force starts security mission


TALLAHASSE­E: The United States Space Force launched its first national security mission on Thursday, sending an ultra-secure military communicat­ion satellite into orbit even as the coronaviru­s paralyses much of the country.

The Lockheed Martin Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) satellite was launched from Cape Canaveral in Florida at 4.18pm local time aboard an Atlas V551 rocket.

AEHF-6, as the satellite is called, is the sixth and final in the Lockheed Martin AEHF constellat­ion. It was to join the other five, launched between 2010-2019, yesterday around 4am GMT (11am, Thailand time) after reaching orbit.

The satellite constellat­ion provides “global, survivable, protected communicat­ions capabiliti­es for strategic command and tactical warfighter­s operating on ground, sea and air platforms”, according to Lockheed Martin.

And it gives “senior leadership a survivable line of communicat­ions to military forces in all levels of conflict, including nuclear war”, it said.

The system features encryption, a low probabilit­y of detection, is jammer-resistant, and able to penetrate electro-magnetic interferen­ce caused by nuclear weapons, it added.

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