Boeing is 3D printing more than a thousand parts for WGS-11+, a new communications satellite it is producing for the U.S. Space Force
U.S. officials are in talks with international users of the Wideband Global Satcom (WGS) communications satellites about a cost-sharing agreement to fund the launch of the new WGS-11+.
The WGS-11+ Wideband Global Satcom satellite that Boeing developed for the U.S. Space Force passed a critical design review and will transition to production.
WGS-11+ will join the WGS constellation that provides broadband communications to the U.S. military and allies.
Boeing said it has developed a new variant of its commercial 702 satellite for WGS-11
U.S. Space Command on Nov. 19 accepted the 10th satellite of the Wideband Global Satcom constellation.
WGS program and Boeing leaders are preparing for an upcoming “system requirements review."
A “hybrid” architecture that allows users to tap into commercial and military satellites without knowing the difference has been a much discussed but elusive goal.
The WGS-11 satellite is being funded with money that Congress inserted into the fiscal year 2018 budget.
Stig Nilsson, a colonel in the Norwegian Ministry of Defence’s Department for Defence Policy and Long Term Planning, said the satellite system, known as the Arctic Satellite Broadband Mission (ASBM), should be under construction by June, following a downselect among competing manufacturers.
WGS-10 was the second to last mission for the Delta 4 medium.
The Air Force 45th Space Wing will support the WGS-10 launch March 13 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex 37.
Air Force satcom buyer Tom Becht: "We see a lot of independent commercial offerings. They are all good. But it would be nice if we could figure out how to do this from an enterprise perceptive.”
As the military sometimes must operate in contested environments, they will need more resilient communications system to overcome any intentional interference.
A Defense Department pilot program will gauge how multiple satellite communications system can work together to support the military.
An expansion of the WGS constellation to 12 satellites guarantees that the military will have more of its own satcom capacity and may need less from commercial services, dealing a setback to the industry that has argued for years that it can provide a better value for the money.
Peterman: While WGS is an important capability for the military, it is technology that has been surpassed by the private sector.
The 2018 defense appropriation may be the one and only chance for Congress to add $600 million for two new satellites given how large of an increase the Pentagon is getting — $61 billion more than last year’s funding.
The Australian Defence Force (ADF) is planning to include commercial satellites as a necessary part of its communications architecture in the future, a defense official said May 15.