3rd Boeing-built WGS Satellite enters service with US Air Force
Boeing announced today that the third Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS) military communications satellite has entered service for the US Air Force. It is now part of a constellation that is delivering significantly improved broadband communications to US military forces and their allies in every theater of operation around the world.
WGS is the US Department of Defense's highest-capacity satellite communications system. It provides unmatched high-data-rate communications links to support delivery of everything from full-motion video captured by unmanned aerial vehicles to e-mail, television and other quality-of-life services for US warfighters overseas. The first two WGS satellites are operating over the Pacific Ocean and Middle East, respectively. WGS-3 is located over the Atlantic Ocean.
"This milestone means that our warfighters around the world, even deep in the mountains or far out at sea, can now reap the benefits of high-capacity communications," said Air Force Col. Don Robbins, WGS SATCOM Group Commander. "WGS delivers the information they need to make quicker decisions, which is a key enabler of mission success. This is a system that saves warfighters' lives and makes their lives better."
WGS-3 is the final satellite in the Block I series. Under its current Block II contract with the Air Force, Boeing is building three more WGS satellites that are scheduled for launch in 2012 and 2013. Boeing also is working with the Air Force to establish a follow-on series with up to six more WGS satellites.
"New airborne intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platforms require increased bandwidth, and we're enhancing the Block II WGS satellites to deliver that critical capability," said Ken Torok, vice president, Navigation and Communication Systems, Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems. "WGS is proving to be a cost-effective solution that delivers results for warfighters today and can be evolved to meet the military's future communications needs."
WGS satellites deliver fast, flexible broadband communications services to remote areas. They can interconnect X-band and Ka- band users, deliver service to new users within days, and be repositioned on orbit if necessary to meet changing mission requirements.
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