Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems of Seal Beach, Calif., was awarded a $182.2 million contract from the U.S. Air Force to begin production of the seventh Wideband Global Satcom (WGS) satellite, the Defense Department announced Aug. 19.

The Air Force has launched three WGS geostationary satellites since 2007 and has plans to maintain eight of the satellites on orbit through 2025. Each of the satellites provides a tenfold increase in capacity over the previous-generation Defense Satellite Communications System spacecraft.

Boeing was already under contract for WGS satellites four, five and six, which are in various stages of development. The company previously announced it was buying parts for the seventh satellite but did not have a government contract for the satellite before now.