Salutes & Awards

July 20, 2012

Contract modification awarded for WGS satellite enhancement

The U.S. Air Force Space Command has awarded a $111 million contract modification to Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems.

The contract is for the development and production of an enhanced payload channelizer for Wideband Global Satellite Program’s eighth and ninth satellites. This enhancement nearly doubles communications bandwidth on each satellite that will be available to worldwide U.S. and Allied military forces.

Recognizing the maturity of the WGS production program, U.S. AFSPC’s Space and Missile Systems Center [Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif.] MILSATCOM Directorate is procuring WGS-7, 8 and 9 under a new commercial-like operating model that resulted in a savings to the U.S. government of several hundred million dollars.

The MILSATCOM Directorate was able to leverage some of these savings for use as a Space Modernization Initiative to improve WGS capability by inserting a new generation of integrated circuits into the payload channelizer. Completion of this effort will enable the enhanced channelizer to be incorporated into all future WGS satellites – a 90 percent improvement in satellite bandwidth – without additional cost to the government.

WGS-1, 2 and 3 are operational and in geosynchronous orbit providing wideband communications to war fighters around the globe. WGS-4 was launched in January and is being readied for operations. WGS-5 through 9 are currently in production, with WGS-5 and WGS-6 scheduled for launch in 2013.

Wideband Global SATCOM provides anytime, anywhere communication for war fighters through broadcast, multicast and point-to-point connections. WGS is the only system that can support simultaneous X- and Ka-band communications. The WGS cross-banding capability makes communicating across terminal types transparent to its users. WGS currently collects and routes real-time data through more than 700 X-band, 3100 Ka-band and 400 X/Ka-band terminals in all theaters of operation.

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