Using leading commercial digital circuit technology, the newly upgraded satellite will aid in fulfilling the increasing demand for high-data rate communications of warfighters around the globe.
“Not only does WGS-8’s cutting edge digital payload nearly double the satellite’s bandwidth, but the U.S. government was able to realize more than $150 million in savings for WGS-7 through WGS-10 through fixed-price block purchases and commercial operating practices,” said Dan Hart, Boeing vice president, Government Satellite Systems. “We’ve been able to both increase the capability and reduce the per-unit cost with each new WGS satellite we’ve delivered, making WGS, by far, the most cost-effective asset for military communications.”
During the past two years Boeing has made many improvements to its satellite products. Those include increasing bandwidth and capacity, incorporating independently steerable and shapeable beams that can point bandwidth to where it’s most needed, deploying the world’s first all-electric propulsion satellites, and stacking and launching together two satellites.
WGS-8 was launched on Wednesday by a United Launch Alliance Delta IV rocket.
The WGS-9 satellite, funded through an international partnership between the United States and Canada, Denmark, Luxembourg, The Netherlands and New Zealand, will be launched early next year. Boeing is on contract for a total of 10 WGS satellites.