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Program: WGS

Wideband Gapfiller Satellite, now Wideband Global Satellite

US military satellite program to augment the DoD communication services currently provided by the DSCS program. Will also replace the GBS payload of UHF.

Other countries have joined the american system: Canada, Australia, Denmark, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand. Each nation has guaranteed access to independent communications channels drawn from frequencies that are internationally regulated for government use.

The contract was granted to a team led by Boeing (others include Harris Corp., ITT, Logicon, and SAIC). The 2 first satellites ordered are worth $336.4 million but the contract could reach $1.8 billion if the 6 options are exercised.

The capacity of a single satellite is greater than the capacity of the entire DSCS constellation.

Initial launch was planned for 2004 on a Delta 4.

In Feb 2002 a second satellite was ordered for $119 million. To be launched in 2005.

In Dec 2002 a third satellite was ordered from Boeing, To be launched in 2005.

In Oct 2006, the WGS SV 4 satellite was ordered (for launch in 2011). Its a Block 2 satellite, with radio frequency bypass capability.

The WGS SV 7 was ordered in Aug 2010 for $182 million.

Canada joined in Jan 2012 and paid for the 9th satellite.

WGS SV 10 was ordered in July 2012. Includes the new wideband digital channeliser.

WGS 11 is expected for late-2023.

Lookup sat-index archive

Technical data


WGS has 18 reconfigurable coverage areas, the ability to broadcast or multicast transmissions into the various coverage areas, and connect users between any and all coverage areas, even when operating on different frequency bands. Supports crossbanding between X- and Ka-band.

WGS can filter and route up to 4.875 GHz of instantaneous bandwidth.
Depending on the mix of ground terminals, data rates, and modulation schemes employed, a WGS satellite can support data transmission rates between 2.4 and 3.6 Gbps.

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