Satellite Fully Funded

Boeing announced Jan. 15 that it has now received full funding for the Air Force’s sixth wideband global satcom satellite via Australia’s recent installment of $234 million. “This sixth satellite will substantially expand the constellation’s overall communications capacity and operational flexibility,” said Craig Cooning, vice president and general manager of Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems. Australia joined the WGS program in November 2007, receiving access to WGS services worldwide for the Australian Defence Forces in exchange for funding the sixth satellite, which is the final spacecraft under USAF’s current program of record. Australia will eventually have access to 16 percent of the entire constellation’s communications throughput. The first WGS satellite began operational service last April. The second satellite is set for launch later this year. Satellites one through three are considered Block I spacecraft, while the remaining three vehicles will be in the more capable Block II configuration.