Wideband Gapfiller Satellite (Communications)
Boeing will build three Block II Wideband Gapfiller Satellites (WGS)
for the U.S. Air Force MILSATCOM Systems Wing. The Block II satellites
will be similar to the three Block I satellites already in production.
The 13-kilowatt WGS satellites are based on Boeing's 702 bus, utilizing
digital signal processors and phased array antennas. The first WGS
satellite is scheduled for launch in 2007. The initial Block II will be
ready for launch by the first quarter of 2011 and subsequent launches
every year thereafter. WGS will augment and eventually replace the DSCS
currently on station. The total value of the three satellites could sum
at $1.067 billion.
Under Block II, Boeing will add a radio frequency bypass capability
designed to support airborne intelligence, surveillance and
reconnaissance platforms requiring ultra-high bandwidth and data rates
demanded by unmanned aerial vehicles. According to U.S. Air Force Lt.
Col. Adam Mortenson, WGS Block II program manager, "One WGS satellite
will provide more throughput than the entire Defense Service
Communications Satellite (DSCS) constellation currently on station.