Wideband Global SATCOM Block II

Boeing has awarded a contract to Cobham for the supply of electronic systems for the US Air Force’s (USAF) Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS) satellite programme.

The $65m contract includes the production and delivery of three satellite flight sets, each comprising 1,000 modules from Cobham Defence Electronics, and also includes the option to order three additional sets.

Jill Kale, Cobham Defence Electronics vice president, said the contract underlines the company’s leading role in the supply of high-reliability cost-effective space-qualified hardware components.

”Cobham is pleased to support this critical Department of Defense programme to enhance military satellite communications capability by providing the portfolio of RF modules that support additional bandwidth required by the military,” Kale added.

Equipped with a complex power amplifier, beamformer and receive amplifier modules, the phased array antenna modules enable the satellite to transmit and receive communications.

Manufacturing work under the contract is taking place at the company’s facility in Lowell, Massachusetts, US, and is scheduled to be completed in 2013.

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Developed from the Boeing 702HP platform, the satellites offers additional information broadcast capabilities to enhance the current Ka-band global broadcast service on UHF F/O satellites, in addition to providing flexible broadband communications at a speed of 2.1 to 3.6Gbps for US troops and their allies worldwide.

First three Block I WGS satellites and WGS-4, the first in the Block II series, have already been launched in 2007, 2009 and 2012 respectively, while the WGS-5 and WGS-6 models are scheduled for launch in 2013.

Image: A depiction of WGS Block-II satellite in orbit. Photo: courtesy of Boeing 1995 – 2012 ©.