Press Release

Boeing Awarded Contract to Build Third Wideband Gapfiller Satellite

By SpaceRef Editor
December 20, 2002
Filed under , ,

Boeing Integrated
Defense Systems, a unit of The Boeing Co. , has been awarded
a U.S. Air Force contract option to build a third satellite in the
Wideband Gapfiller Satellite, or WGS, program.

Each WGS satellite provides the United States and its allies with
increased space-based communications capability that augments current
Defense Satellite Communications System, or DSCS, and Global Broadcast
Service operations. The WGS is a key military satellite
communications, or MILSATCOM, program being weaved into a Boeing
integrated battlespace where real-time information is quickly and
simultaneously made accessible to platforms, forces and commanders on
the ground, at sea and in the air.

“Boeing is honored and very excited to have the opportunity to
provide a third WGS satellite for the Air Force,” said Randy Brinkley,
president of Boeing Satellite Systems, the satellite-manufacturing arm
of Boeing Integrated Defense Systems. “The WGS satellites will provide
an enormous leap forward in satellite communications capability for
the U.S. and allied forces, beginning with the first launch in

Boeing received funding to build the first two satellites in
January 2002 for launches scheduled in 2004. The third satellite is
scheduled to launch in 2005. The WGS contract includes options for as
many as six Boeing 702 satellites and associated spacecraft and
payload ground control equipment that is jointly funded with the U.S.
Army. With the current option for the WGS F3 satellite, the total
value of the contract is now approximately $660 million.

More than 1,000 people at Boeing’s integrated satellite factory in
El Segundo, Calif, anchor the Boeing team building the WGS. Additional
Boeing resources from around the country and many key suppliers,
including Spectrolab in Sylmar, Calif.; ITT in Colorado Springs,
Colo.; Raytheon in Aurora, Colo.; Northrop Grumman Information
Technology in San Pedro, Calif.; and Harris in Palm Bay, Fla., also
support the program.

“The Boeing 702-based WGS is an exceptional platform that can
evolve, with significant added capabilities, to cost-effectively
provide military users with near-term transformational communications
capabilities,” said Richard H. Johnson, WGS program director at
Boeing. “These enhancements would satisfy the rapidly changing needs
of the military’s communications architectures, including providing
additional connectivity for intelligence, surveillance and
reconnaissance from unmanned vehicles.”

A unit of The Boeing Co., Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is one
of the world’s largest space and defense businesses. With headquarters
in St. Louis, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is a $23 billion
business. It provides systems solutions to its global military,
government and commercial customers.

It is a leading provider of intelligence, surveillance and
reconnaissance; the world’s largest military aircraft manufacturer;
the world’s largest satellite manufacturer and a leading provider of
space-based communications; the primary systems integrator for U.S.
missile defense; NASA’s largest contractor; and a global leader in
launch services.

SpaceRef staff editor.