The United States Air Force (USAF) has begun allowing select groups to communicate through Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) satellite systems, with Canada being the first international partner. The AEHF system provides highly secure communications capabilities for strategic command and tactical warfighters. A single AEHF satellite provides users with data rates as much as five times faster than other satellite systems, allowing for the transmission of data including real-time video, battlefield maps, targeting data, and presidential conferencing in all levels of conflict.

The US-Canada team successfully connected by means of the Lockheed Martin-produced AEHF-1 satellite using a SMART-T terminal near Ottawa, Canada. Data was exchanged with the Air Force’s 4thSpace Operations Squadron in Colorado using multiple Navy Multi-Band IP variant terminals over AEHF networks.

Canada will continue to test communications by means of the AEHF system for several months, with the Netherlands and the United Kingdom expected to complete their first terminal connections by the end of 2013.