Aprilicus (satellite)

Aprilicus (satellite)

APRILICUS refers to a series of four United States reconnaissance satellites launched between 1978 and 1980. [ [http://www.planet4589.org/space/jsr/back/news.369 Jonathan's space update No. 369] (1998-08-22) Lists U.S. SIGINT launches] Also known as AFD-0104-08 [ [http://www.planet4589.org/space/jsr/back/news.501 Jonathan's space report No. 501] (2003-06-06) Speculation on the APRILICUS launches] , the satellites were developed with the participation of the Air Force. The Aprilicus project is credited as being the first American satellite Joint Venture between the USA, Australia and Norway tasked for COMINT. [Richelson, Jeffrey T. ed. "U.S. Military Uses of Space, 1945-1991 Vol 1, Guide." National Security Archive. 1991.]

The satellites weighed 700 kg and were launched from Redstone 3C rockets into near-geosynchronous orbits from Woomera Weapons Range. They carried large parabolic reflecting dishes, estimated at 10m in diameter. The Aprilicus satellites were eventually replaced with the next generation of COMINT satellites, the Vortex/Chalet series. The program remains classified and protected under UMBRA - AFD.

List of Launches


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