The U.S. Navy
has authorized Boeing Satellite Systems Inc. (BSS) to begin production
of the 11th in a series of UHF Follow-On (UFO) satellites, which
provide global communications for the armed forces.

BSS is a unit of The Boeing Co.

The agreement amends an existing $1.9 billion contract under which
BSS has built and launched 10 UFO satellites. The satellite will be
launched in 2003.

The Navy began replacing and upgrading its ultra-high frequency
(UHF) satellite communications network during the 1990s with a
constellation of Boeing 601 spacecraft known as the UHF Follow-On
(UFO) series.

In 1999, the Navy’s Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command
granted BSS initial funding for long-lead parts procurement and
related activities on UFO F-11. With this authorization to proceed
with F-11’s construction, the Navy is moving to sustain the UFO
constellation into the latter part of this decade.

“Over the life of this highly successful program, the UHF
Follow-On payloads have evolved to meet the customer’s changing needs,
while being contained within the same basic Boeing 601 platform. This
building-block approach allowed us to add valuable enhancements to the
satellite payloads without a break in production,” said Tig H. Krekel,
president of Boeing Satellite Systems Inc.

“We take great pride in our role on this program because the UHF
mobile service is the backbone of military communications today,
supporting warfighters on land, at sea and in the air.”

UFO F-11 will use the Boeing 601 bus, like the previous UFO
satellites. It will carry a UHF (ultra-high frequency) payload for
narrowband two-way battlefield connectivity and an EHF payload. The
high-capacity EHF subsystem provides enhanced antijam telemetry,
command, broadcast and fleet interconnectivity communications, using
advanced signal processing techniques.

The most recent UFO satellites — F-8, F-9 and F-10 — also carry
a high-capacity global broadcast service (GBS) payload, which uses
commercial-like direct broadcast satellite technology to provide
critical information to U.S. and allied forces. The UFO constellation
provides the Department of Defense (DoD) with communication services
that range from mobile communications to intelligence dissemination
and quality-of-life programming.

BSS is the world’s leading manufacturer of commercial
communications satellites and a major provider of space systems,
satellites and payloads for national defense, science and
environmental applications.

The company was formed in October 2000 when Boeing acquired the
Hughes Electronics satellite manufacturing companies, which included
Hughes Space and Communications Co., Hughes Electron Dynamics,
Spectrolab Inc. and Hughes Electronics’ 50 percent share of HRL

The Boeing Co., with headquarters in Seattle, is the largest
aerospace company in the world and the United States’ leading
exporter. It is the world’s largest manufacturer of commercial
jetliners and military aircraft and the largest NASA contractor. The
company’s capabilities in aerospace also include rotorcraft,
electronic and defense systems, missiles, rocket engines, launch
vehicles and advanced information and communication systems.

The company has an extensive global reach with customers in 145
countries and manufacturing operations throughout the United States,
Canada and Australia. At year-end 2000, Boeing and its subsidiaries
employed more than 198,000 people.