Boeing WGS satellite aims to improve military comms for U.S., allies

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. A Boeing Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS) satellite was launched into orbit on March 18. This WGS-9 satellite, launched using a United Launch Alliance Delta IV rocket, is aimed at enabling the United States and six allied nations to increase military communications capabilities to prevent, protect against, and respond to attacks.

According to Boeing, each WGS satellite provides 10 times more bandwidth than the entire constellation that preceded the WGS program, supporting such functions as tactical operations, delivering drone video, and between leaders.

The satellite construction and deployment  was funded through an agreement between the U.S. and Canada, Denmark, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and New Zealand; the satellite will also serve Australia (which funded the WGS-6 satellite). The partner countries are able to access to the capabilities provided by the full WGS system, which include flexible and secure communication transmissions in the X- and Ka-band frequencies.

The newly launched satellite will join a constellation that already provides the military's highest capacity communications service; the WGS satellite network relays television broadcasts, video conferences, images, and other high-bandwidth data to and from ships, aircraft, ground forces, operations centers, the U.S. State Department, the White House, and select global partners.

Boeing built the ninth Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS-9) satellite in its El Segundo, California-based Satellite Development Center. (Photo courtesy Boeing)

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