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Australia-Funded Military Communication Satellite Enters Service

By Caleb Henry | December 12, 2013
Boeing Australia Defense

WGS 4, part of the U.S. Air Force’s WGS constellation. Photo: Boeing

[Via Satellite 12-12-13] The sixth Boeing Wideband Global Satcom (WGS) satellite, funded by the Commonwealth of Australia – the program’s first partner outside the United States – has been delivered on orbit to the U.S. Air Force.

WGS 6, launched Aug. 7 onboard a United Launch Alliance Delta 4 rocket, is the second WGS satellite delivered to the Air Force this year. Australia began partnering with the U.S. for the WGS communication system in 2007. The country’s funding of the spacecraft provided the Australian Defense Force with immediate access to the WGS network.

Four additional WGS satellites are in production in Boeing’s El Segundo, Calif.  facility under the program’s Block II follow-on contract. WGS 8 and beyond will include an upgraded digital channelizer, which will increase the satellite’s bandwidth by more than 90 percent.