Wideband Global SATCOM Satellite Launch Successful



Release Number: 041007

10/11/2007 - Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida -- The United Launch Alliance Atlas V launched the very first Wideband Global SATCOM satellite, or space vehicle from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., Oct. 10.

The purpose of the launch is to provide a quantum leap in communications bandwidth for marines, soldiers, sailors and airmen. WGS is the nation's next-generation wideband satellite communications system. This launch begins the process of augmenting and eventually replacing the aging Defense Satellite Communication System which has been the Department of Defense's backbone for satellite communications over the last two decades.
 
"I'm extremely pleased with today's successful launch and the superb performance of the entire team that made it happen. Putting up the very first WGS satellite is monumental for both the MILSATCOM Systems Wing, Space and Missile Systems Center, and for the Air Force. This launch campaign presented unique challenges that were overcome with a lot of hard work, attention to detail, and a tremendous team effort between our WGS customer, the Boeing Company, the 45th Space Wing, The Aerospace Corporation, and the Launch and Range Systems Wing.

I am very proud of the team and its achievement which extends the string of successful launches by the Space and Missile Systems Center to 52," said Col. Donald Robbins, Commander, Wideband SATCOM Group, MCSW. After today's launch of SV-1, WGS SV-2 and SV-3 will round out the remainder of the Block I contract. Both satellites are currently progressing through their test programs and are slated for launch next year. The WGS Block II contract for SV-4 and SV-5 was awarded last year. The WGS system is being procured through a commercial contract with the Boeing Company by the Wideband SATCOM Group, part of MCSW. 

The Space and Missile Systems Center, located at Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif., is the U.S. Air Force's center of acquisition excellence for acquiring and developing military space systems including six wings and three groups responsible for GPS, military satellite communications, defense meteorological satellites, space launch and range systems, satellite control network, space based infrared systems, intercontinental ballistic missile systems and space situational awareness capabilities. SMC manages more than $60 billion in contracts, executes annual budgets of $10 billion and employs more than 6,800 people worldwide.