Wideband Global SATCOM

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Product Type:

Communications Satellite System

Using Service (US):

Air Force (USAF)

Program Status:

10th and final satellite to launch in 2018.

Prime Contractors:

The Boeing Company

WGS Satellites

About the WGS Program:





The Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS) Satellite system (previously known as the Wideband Gapfiller Satellites) is a constellation of satellites in geosynchronous orbit providing worldwide communication coverage for tactical and fixed users. The complete WGS constellation will consist of a total of ten satellites (eight U.S. funded, one funded by Australia, and one funded by other international partners). The WGS prime contractor is Boeing, which is building the satellites based on its proven 702 HP/MP satellite platform.

With its first launch in October 2007 (SV-1), second launch in April 2009 (SV-2), and third launch in December 2009 (SV-3), WGS Space Vehicles are the highest capacity communications satellites used by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). The Block II satellites SV-4, SV-5 and SV-6 were launched on January 19, 2012; May 24, 2013; and August 7, 2013; respectively. Block II SV-7 was launched on July 24, 2015. Block II follow-on satellites 8 and 9 were launched on December 8, 2016 and March 18, 2017. WGS SV-10 is expected to launch in 2018. Space Vehicles 8-10 include upgraded digital channelizers that almost double the available bandwidth of earlier WGS satellites.

The constellation provides communications service in both the X and Ka-band frequency spectrums. WGS supplements X-band communications now provided by the Defense Satellite Communications System (DSCS) and provides a one-way Ka-band service, similar to the one provided by the Global Broadcast Service (GBS). Additionally, WGS provides a new two-way Ka-band service. The WGS satellites provide a major leap in communications capacity, connectivity and flexibility for U.S. armed forces, while seamlessly integrating with current and future X-band and Ka-band terminals. Each WGS satellite provides more SATCOM capacity than the entire DSCS constellation. The communications services provided by the WGS satellites allows military commanders to exert command & control of tactical forces. These forces will rely on WGS to provide high-capacity connectivity into the terrestrial portion of the Defense Information Systems Network (DISN).

In January 2012, a multilateral partnership between the United States, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and New Zealand was codified. U.S. contributions include existing and programmed infrastructure, to include the acquisition, launch, operations, and sustainment costs of WGS Space Vehicles 1-5, 7-8 and 10, and the launch, operations, and sustainment of WGS SV-6 and SV-9. Australia funded the WGS SV-6 acquisition and support activities, while contributions from other partners funded the WGS SV-9.

Part of the MILSATCOM Directorate's Wideband SATCOM Group, the WGS system is composed of three principal segments: Space Segment
(satellites), Control Segment (operators) and Terminal Segment (users). The Wideband SATCOM Group is responsible for development, acquisition, fielding and sustainment of the WGS Program.

Communication Features:
-X-band: 8x spot-beam transmit/receive via phased-array antennas
-Ka-band: 10x gimbaled dish antennas
-35x 125 MHz channels.

The WGS constellation is controlled from four Wideband Satellite Operation Centers equipped with ground-based control elements delivered by Boeing, Exelis (now part of Harris Corp.), and Raytheon. Platform control is conducted from Schriever Air Force Base (home of the 50th Space Wing) in Colorado.



WGS Production Forecast:

A 15-year WGS production forecast is available through Forecast International's Platinum Forecast System, which includes a breakout of total market unit and value statistics by manufacturer and end-user. This real-time service also includes information on all prime and subcontractors, contract awards, no. of active satellites/systems, a complete program history, and a rationale detailing the outlook of the program. A 10-year WGS production forecast is also available in report format through Forecast International's Space Systems Forecast service.



Mission/Role:

The Wideband Global SATCOM Satellite system will provide a high-capacity military communications capability. The constellation delivers wideband communications and point-to-point service on Ka-band and X-band frequencies.



FY 2017 & FY 2018 - WGS DoD Program:

This data is available in Forecast International's U.S. Defense Budget Forecast, a comprehensive analytical database containing historical and forecast budget figures, year-to-year funding comparisons, congressional budget markups, program justification documents, and much more.




Source: U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and The Boeing Company

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Forecast International Budget Data:

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DoD Spending in FY 2014, FY 2015, FY 2016, FY 2017 and FY 2018 + 5-year forecast

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