WGS Clones

The Air Force says it intends to double potentially the number of Wideband Global Satcom satellites—or WGS-like spacecraft—that it acquires. According to a Federal Business Opportunities notice posted last month, the service is interested in the “production of up to six clone WGS satellites and associated ground equipment.” The current program of record is to build six WGS satellites in two blocks. The clones would have communications capabilities “that are equivalent” to the WGS spacecraft, the service said. Launch of the first clone satellite is required within five years of the initial authorization to procure long lead material. Already the first of the six Boeing-built WGS communications satellites in the current program of record is on orbit and operational and No. 2 is expected to go into space in March. And WGS-partner Australia has just paid the final installment on the sixth and final satellite.