WGS satellites Air Force
WGS satellites. Credit: Boeing

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Air Force added $8.8 million to Boeing’s Wideband Global Satcom contract to help operate and maintain the constellation through 2017, according to contracting information the Department of Defense released Dec. 19.

The constellation is currently the military’s foremost satellite communications system for X- and Ka-band. Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems, which builds the satellites in El Segundo, California, is expected to be on contract for WGS  until at least 2019, when the tenth and final WGS satellite is expected to launch. The first WGS satellite launched in October 2007, and the eighth satellite just lifted off Dec. 7.

The Air Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) in Los Angeles is overseeing the contract, though most of the work is expected to be performed at Air Force Space Command units at Schriever and Peterson Air Force Bases in Colorado.

SMC also awarded a $46 million option to Engility Corp. of Andover, Massachusetts, for providing continued systems engineering and integration support for the center’s Remote Sensing Systems Directorate.

The $46 million option will cover “systems engineering and integration controls, systems engineering and integration execution, and enterprise integration,” according to the Pentagon.

Work is expected to be performed at Los Angeles Air Force Base and be completed by Dec. 31, 2018.

Phillip Swarts is the military space reporter for SpaceNews. He previously covered space and advanced technology for Air Force Times, the Justice Department for The Washington Times, and investigative journalism for the Washington Guardian;...