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US Space Force’s WGS-11+ wideband satellite passes design review

WGS-11+ wideband satellit
WGS-11+ wideband satellite Illustration. Photo: Boeing

The US Space Force and Boeing have completed the first major engineering design review for the Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS)-11+ communications satellite.

The successful review will allow Boeing to proceed to the final system design phase, while production will begin next year with delivery scheduled for 2024.

WGS-11+ features a modern digital payload that performs at twice the operational capability of its predecessors, increasing the availability of military-grade communications. The satellite uses narrower spot beams to deliver power exactly where it is needed, which will enhance satellite resiliency, performance and support to disadvantaged users.

The current WGS constellation, consisting of 10 satellites, is the backbone of the US military’s global communications system, providing flexible, high data-rate connectivity. Users include all US military services, the White House Communications Agency, the US State Department and international partners.

“Completing this engineering design review is a key milestone and brings us one step closer to delivering this groundbreaking satellite to the warfighter in record time, significantly improving capacity and coverage to our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and allies,” said Col. John Dukes, chief of the Geosynchronous/Polar Division at Space and Missile Systems Center Production Corps.

In addition to US military forces, the WGS constellation provides service to international partners including Australia, Canada, Denmark, Luxembourg, New Zealand, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic and Norway.

The US Space and Missile Systems Center awarded Boeing a $600 million firm-fixed-price contract for the procurement of WGS-11+ satellite in February this year.