The US Air Force has taken over the control and operation of a wideband global SATCOM (WGS) satellite from Boeing.

The satellite built and tested by Boeing has been announced as ready for use by the air force after operational, ground and in-orbit tests.

The WGS satellites are the US’s highest-capacity communication satellites, offering a major increase in bandwidth for airmen and other armed forces.

WGS will support the information exchange requirements for warfighters by routing 2.1 to 3.6GBps of data enabling execution of tactical command and control, communications, and computer, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR).

The satellite system will also provide support to the aircrew with battle management and combat support information.

The new satellite system will advance and eventually replace the existing defence satellite communications system (DSCS) constellation.

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WGS-2 along with WGS-1 that is already in operation, together are capable of handling more than 25 times the capacity of the entire DSCS constellation.

The USAF will monitor and control the new satellite from Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado.

The US Defense Department has ordered six WGS satellites and plans to buy more in future.