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Technicians mate the payload module and propulsion core for the Air Force's fourth AEHF communication satellite. Lockheed Martin photo

​Lockheed Martin has integrated the propulsion core and payload module for the Air Force's fourth Advanced Extremely High Frequency communication satellite at its facility in Sunnyvale, Calif., announced the company on Monday. The milestone occurred nearly five months ahead of schedule, thereby accelerating the satellite's flow into testing, states the company's release. "We are proud to be part of an Air Force program that is driving innovation through cost savings,” said Mark Calassa, Lockheed Martin's AEHF program manager. “The program continues to bring to bear unequaled technology that keeps our combatant commanders and warfighters connected,” he added. The first three AEHF satellites are on orbit; the company said they are "delivering superb performance." Lockheed Martin is under contract to supply six AEHF satellites, plus the ground control segment, to complement, and eventually replace, the legacy, five-satellite Milstar constellation.