Boeing Turns Over WGS-5 to Air Force

Boeing has turned over the fifth Wideband Global Satcom (WGS) X- and Ka-band communications satellite to the U.S. Air Force, according to an Oct. 2 announcement from the company.

The Boeing-built WGS-5 satellite, the second of the upgraded Block 2 WGS satellites, launched May 25. 

The company said the satellite has completed on-orbit testing and is now operated by the Air Force.

“WGS-5 addresses a critical need of the Defense Department by increasing capacity and enhancing global coverage, supporting warfighters with communications bandwidth when they need it,” Craig Cooning, vice president and general manager of Boeing Space & Intelligence Systems, said in a prepared statement.

WGS-5 will be the first satellite in the constellation to cover North America, according to Air Force officials. The first four WGS satellites were positioned to cover other areas of the world between the eastern Atlantic and western Pacific, including the Middle East. WGS-5 was expected to bring the constellation to near worldwide coverage, officials said.

WGS-6 launched Aug. 7. The satellite is performing as expected, the release said, and is expected to be turned over to the Air Force later this year.

Four more satellites, WGS-7, -8, -9 and -10, are in production at Boeing’s El Segundo, Calif., satellite factory.