Protected Military Satellite Communication project marks successful launch out of Cape Canaveral

AEHF-4 Satellite ready to launch
AEHF-4 Satellite ready to launch. Photo: Scott Schilke

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Imagine seeing a rocket carrying a satellite soar into space, leaving nothing but a cloud of smoke and faces in awe.

Colonel Cameron Stoltz, Director of Space Requirements within the Royal Canadian Air Force, witnessed exactly that on October 17, 2018, when the Atlas 5 rocket blasted off carrying the Advanced Extremely High Frequency 4 (AEHF-4) satellite.

The launch took place at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida just after midnight. Onlookers were treated to bright lights, and what looked like a golden flame flying into the night sky. The AEHF-4 launch marks the United Launch Alliance’s 50th launch for the U.S. Air Force, as well as a milestone for the United States’ Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) program.

The AEHF program is an international partnership between the United States, Canada, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. Working in collaboration with our allies allows Canada to ensure interoperability and maximize efficiency, providing more value for taxpayer dollar.

The Protected Military Satellite Communication (PMSC) project enables Canada to leverage the AEHF constellation to deliver secure, protected, survivable and jamming-resistant satellite communications worldwide. According to Claude Bernard, Acting Director Project Delivery Communications and Sense, the PMSC project is “unlike any other satellite communications system; Canada directly controls a portion of the constellation and has guaranteed access and control over our apportioned satellite resources.”

Congratulations to the AEHF Program and the PMSC teams on the success of the AEHF-4 satellite launch!

For more photos, check out the United Launch Alliance Flickr feed.

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