AEHF-6 (Atlas V)
26 March 2020
Space Launch Complex 41
Cape Canaveral Air Force Station
A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V 551 (5-meter fairing, 5 solid rocket boosters, and a 1-engine Centaur upper stage) rocket launched the sixth Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) communications satellite for the U.S. Space Force Space and Missile Systems Center from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 4:18 p.m on 26 March 2020.

From the ULA mission overview:

The AEHF system, developed by Lockheed Martin, provides vastly improved global, survivable, protected communications capabilities for strategic command and tactical warfighters. This jam-resistant system also serves international partners including Canada, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and Australia.

AEHF-6 will be a protected communications relay to provide the highest levels of information protection to the nation’s most critical users. The Lockheed Martin A2100 satellite gives senior leadership a survivable line of communications to military forces in all levels of conflict, including nuclear war. The system features encryption, low probability of intercept and detection, jammer resistance and the ability to penetrate the electromagnetic interference caused by nuclear weapons to route communications to users on land, at sea or in the air.

The Atlas V 551 rocket will deliver AEHF-6 into an optimized, high-energy geosynchronous transfer orbit. ULA and the AEHF program produced this ascent profile to maximize mission flexibility over the satellite’s lifetime.

Atlas V rockets successfully launched the first five AEHF satellites in 2010, 2012, 2013, 2018 and 2019. These satellites were placed in geosynchronous orbit 35,888 km (22,300 miles) above Earth to augment and eventually replace the legacy MILSTAR communications satellite fleet. One AEHF satellite has greater capacity than the entire five-satellite MILSTAR constellation.

Separation of the five solid rocket boosters.
It was a hot and hazy day as can be seen in the video.
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