WGS sat launch brings improved SATCOM for Australia

On 18th March Boeing’s ninth Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS) satellite launched into orbit and will provide the US and six allied nations with increased communications capabilities to prevent, protect against and respond to attacks.

The WGS-9 satellite was funded through an agreement between the US and Canada, Denmark, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and NZ, and will also serve Australia (which funded the WGS-6 satellite). Each partner country gains access to the capabilities provided by the full WGS system, which include flexible and secure communication transmissions in the X- and Ka-band frequencies.

“This unique international collaboration increases military interoperability and expands affordable high-data-rate communications for U.S. and allied partners around the globe,” Rico Attanasio, executive director, Boeing Department of Defense/Civil Satellite Programs said. “WGS-9 is among the most capable military communication satellites on orbit today.”

WGS-9 launched on a United Launch Alliance Delta IV rocket. Boeing is on contract for 10 WGS satellites, the last of which is tentatively scheduled for launch in 2018.

The eighth, ninth and tenth WGS satellites include upgraded digital channelizers that nearly double the available bandwidth of earlier satellites in the series.

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