Air Force Takes Control of WGS-4

The Air Force accepted control of the fourth Wideband Global Satellite Communications spacecraft from manufacturer Boeing, announced the company on Thursday. The handover of the military communications satellite occurred on Wednesday, according to the company. WGS-4, launched into space on Jan. 19 from Cape Canaveral AFS, Fla., recently completed a series of rigorous on-orbit tests, stated company officials. “The team worked around the clock to ensure that all testing was completed successfully, and that the satellite was healthy and ready for customer handover,” said Craig Cooning, vice president of Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems. WGS-4 is the first Block II satellite in the WGS series. Cooning said it “adds substantial capacity and resiliency to the WGS constellation.” During testing, the spacecraft passed signals through each of its 19 antenna beams, validating the functionality of its communications payload, according to the company. Air Force operators at Schriever AFB, Colo., are now conducting additional tests before moving the satellite into its operational position for its expected entry into service this summer, said Boeing.