A satellite
communications industry team led by Boeing has been awarded
a $160.3 million contract to develop the Wideband Gapfiller Satellite
(WGS) system.

WGS is a high-capacity satellite communications system to support
the warfighter with newer and far greater capabilities than provided
by current systems. Total potential value of the contract is $1.3
billion. The program will be managed by Boeing Satellite Systems Inc.
(BSS), in El Segundo, a part of Boeing Space and Communications Group,
which has headquarters in Seal Beach, Calif.

The WGS program will augment Department of Defense (DoD)
communications services currently provided by the Defense Satellite
Communications System, which provides Super High Frequency (SHF)
wideband communications, and by the Global Broadcast Service, which
uses direct broadcast satellite technology to provide critical
information to U.S. and allied forces. With an initial launch in early
2004, WGS will serve as a bridge to the Advanced Wideband Satellite
system, a high-capacity tactical communications system currently
planned for 2008.

“We’re proud of this contract award and equally proud to be part
of a team of satellite communications industry leaders whose
commercial and government experience spans all the key needs of the
WGS system,” said Tig H. Krekel, president of Boeing Satellite
Systems. “Based on the capabilities of this team, we are able to offer
the DoD a tremendously flexible solution that leverages vast expertise
in commercial and military satellite communications (MILSATCOM)

A joint-service program funded by the Air Force and Army, WGS is a
firm, fixed-price award with an initial value of $160.3 million and a
potential total value of $1.3 billion that includes options for as
many as six Boeing 702 satellites and their associated spacecraft and
payload control equipment. The procuring agency is the Air Force
Materiel Command’s Space and Missile Systems Center. Operational and
logistics support and training are also included in the program.

The Boeing 702 is the largest and most powerful commercial
satellite in the world. It uses state-of-the-art technologies in
propulsion, power generation and thermal control. BSS has launched
three Boeing 702 satellites in the last 12 months and has eight other
commercial 702s on order.

As the prime contractor and overall systems integrator, Boeing
leads a team of companies with outstanding MILSATCOM experience.
Harris Corp. is the foremost provider of wideband satellite
communications ground terminals and experts in terminal and payload
interfaces. ITT Industries is the preeminent supplier of wideband
satellite communications network management and control systems.
Logicon is a leader in satellite communications network management
software development and operations. SAIC excels in satellite
communications systems engineering and communications architectures.

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. BSS was formed in October 2000 with the
acquisition of Hughes Space and Communications Co. and other Hughes
entities by Boeing.

“The WGS award reaffirms the leadership role this team has in the
area of space-based communications,” said Jim Albaugh, president of
Boeing Space and Communications Group, adding that the contract is “an
example of our long-term strategy to assist the government in
providing seamless communications to our servicemen and servicewomen.”

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 space-related revenues approach $10 billion annually and
encompass 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.