The US Air Force has awarded Boeing a contract to develop the seventh wideband global SATCOM (WGS) satellite, as part of the new WGS block II follow-on contract.

Under the $182m contract, Boeing will produce up to six WGS satellites, the highest-capacity communications satellites in the US Department of Defense’s arsenal.

The satellite will deliver fast, flexible broadband communications in remote areas.

Developed using Boeing’s 702HP platform, the WGS communications payloads will provide reconfigurable coverage areas and the ability to connect X-band and Ka-band users anywhere.

Boeing will build three more WGS satellites, which are scheduled to launch in 2012 and 2013, under the block II contract.