Wideband Global SATCOM Expansions

The Wideband Global SATCOM system (WGS) is a high capacity satellite communications system planned for use in partnership by the United States Department of Defense (DoD) and the Australian Department of Defence. The system is composed of the Space Segment satellites, the Terminal Segment users and the Control Segment operators.

DoD wideband satellite communication services are currently provided by a combination of the existing Defense Satellite Communications System (DSCS) and Global Broadcast Service (GBS) satellites. According to United Launch Alliance, quoted on Spaceflight Now, “A single WGS spacecraft has as much bandwidth as the entire existing DSCS constellation. [1]

Air Force launches WGS-10 communications satellite. This was the second to last mission for the Delta 4 medium. ULA will retire the vehicle later this summer after the launch of an Air Force GPS satellite. The $424 million WGS-10 satellite encapsulated inside a 5-meter-diameter payload fairing marked the eighth flight of the Delta 4 in the medium configuration, all of which have been WGS missions. The WGS constellation provides broadband communications for the U.S. military and allies. Boeing was selected as the WGS manufacturer in 2001. The first satellite was launched in 2007. [2]

In a surprise move, Congress inserted $600 million into the Pentagon’s 2018 budget for the procurement of two Wideband Global Satcom satellites made by Boeing. The company already has produced 10, and is making preparations to begin work on the 11th and 12th satellites. The production of two new satellites for the Air Force will “move faster” than the typical WGS schedule, said Rico Attanasio, Boeing’s director of Department of Defense and civil navigation and communications programs. [3]


Related Links

US Air Force: Wideband Global SATCOM Satellite

Article: WGS Satellite

Article: WGS/Wideband Gapfiller System

Article: The International WGS Program

Article: WGS

Article: WGS