Science and Technology News

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Sixth Wideband Global SATCOM Satellite Set to Launch

8/6/2013 - LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, El Segundo, Calif. -- The Air Force has scheduled another launch to augment the Wideband Global SATCOM constellation, the nation's next-generation wideband satellite communications system.

The satellite will launch aboard a Delta IV launch vehicle on Aug. 7 from Space Launch Complex 37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. This is the sixth launch for the WGS constellation and the fourth WGS launch on the Delta IV launch vehicle. The WGS-6 satellite will provide the US military forces and international partners with enhanced communication capabilities and increased coverage.

Unique to this launch is the partnership with the Australian Defence Force. In November 2007, Australia signed a bi-lateral Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the United States to join the WGS program. Through this agreement, Australia provides funding for the procurement, sustainment, and launch costs associated with the sixth WGS satellite, in return for assured bandwidth across WGS 1-6. WGS enables reliable, secure satellite communications providing the ability to conduct multiple and simultaneous military operations both independently and as part of a coalition force.

The Air Force Space Command's Space and Missile Center MILSATCOM Systems Directorate procured the sixth WGS satellite through contracts with The Boeing Company. The MILSATCOM System Directorate plans for, acquires, and sustains space-enabled global communications to support the President, Secretary of Defense, and combat forces.

The Space and Missile Systems Center is the U.S. Air Force's center of acquisition excellence for acquiring and developing military space systems including Global Positioning System, military satellite communications, defense meteorological satellites, space launch and range systems, satellite control network, space based infrared systems, and space situational awareness capabilities.

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