9/9/2011 - LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, Calif -- The Air Force has awarded a contract modification to Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems for the production and launch of Wideband Global Satellite Communications program satellites seven through nine. This $1.09 billion contract modification begins the production effort for satellite seven and the long lead activity for satellite eight. Production of satellites eight and nine are contract options that may be exercised at a later date. This contract award ensures the continuation of critical wideband communications support to the warfighter.
This effort to produce satellites seven through nine was initiated in August 2010 with an initial award for the acquisition of long-lead parts for satellite seven and to prepare the factory lines to begin full production.
The acquisition of satellite seven and contract options for satellites eight and nine continues the production of WGS satellites that began in 2000. Satellites one through three are currently in operation in geosynchronous orbit providing wideband communications to warfighters around the globe. Satellites four through six are currently in production with the launch of satellite four tentatively scheduled for early 2012.
Wideband Global SATCOM provides anytime, anywhere communication for the warfighter through broadcast, multicast and point to point connections. WGS is the only system that can support simultaneous X and Ka band communications, with crossbanding that makes it transparent to the warfighter to communicate across terminal types. WGS currently collects and routes real time data through more than 700 X-band, 3,100 Ka-band and 400 X/Ka-band terminals in all theaters of operation.