Air Force Buys 10th WGS Satellite

The Air Force awarded Boeing $338.7 million for production of the 10th Wideband Global Satellite Communications spacecraft, announced service space acquisition officials. WGS-10, like WGS-8 and WGS-9 that are currently in manufacture, will feature a new wideband digital channelizer that nearly doubles the satellite’s bandwidth compared to the earlier WGS satellites, according to the Air Force’s July 27 release. WGS satellites are designed to support simultaneous X- and Ka-band communications. The first three WGS satellites are already operating on orbit. The Air Forces is preparing WGS-4, launched into space in January, to assume operations. WGS-5, WGS-6, and WGS-7 are currently in production, with the first two slated to launch in 2013. The transaction for WGS-10 is part of the commercial-like operating model that the Air Force has had in place with Boeing for procurement of WGS-7 through WGS-10. This model has resulted in “significant savings to the US government,” states the release.