Press Release

Boeing-built Wideband Gapfiller Military Satellite Communications Program Passes Major Design Milestone

By SpaceRef Editor
August 20, 2001
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The Boeing-led team
that is building the Wideband Gapfiller Satellite (WGS), a
high-capacity military satellite communications system, today
announced successful completion of a recent series of preliminary
design reviews (PDRs), a key milestone for the program.

Boeing Satellite Systems (BSS), a unit of The Boeing Co., is heading an industry team building WGS under a January
2001 contract award with a total potential value of $1.3 billion.
Initial launch is scheduled for early 2004.

“The Preliminary Design Reviews have been a fantastic team effort
by well over 100 Boeing and government specialists, engineers,
stakeholders and gray-beards. Together they have made the WGS design
even better,” said Lt. Col. Brian Magazu, the U.S. Air Force’s WGS
program manager. “As one team, this program is maintaining tremendous
velocity and focus. We are on track.”

Twelve days of PDRs focused on the space and ground segments of
the program as well as the overall system. The meetings involved a
broad range of customer participation, including Air Force, Army, Navy
and Department of Defense (DoD) agency personnel as well as their
system engineering and technical assistance support contractors. Also
included were WGS program teammates and senior technical experts from
Boeing.

“We are extremely pleased to have successfully completed this very
important milestone in the WGS program,” said Mike Gianelli, vice
president and general manager of DoD and Civil Programs at BSS. “The
PDR is the product of great effort by many BSS employees and our
teammates and subcontractors, all of whom worked as integrated product
teams with their government counterparts to achieve remarkable
progress in just under seven months since the award of the contract.”

With successful completion of these PDRs behind them, the Boeing
team is ready to conduct a series of more detailed reviews leading to
design efforts that will culminate in the next major program review
milestone, Critical Design Review, which is scheduled to begin later
this year. At those reviews, the team will present detailed designs
and determine readiness to begin production.

A joint-service program funded by the U.S. Air Force and the U.S.
Army, the WGS contract was initially valued at $160.3 million for
non-recurring engineering and advanced long-lead materiel for three
spacecraft. However, the program has options for as many as six Boeing
702 satellites and associated spacecraft and payload ground-control
equipment. The procuring agency is the U.S. Air Force Space and
Missile Systems Center (SMC).

As WGS prime contractor and overall systems integrator, Boeing
leads a team of satellite communications industry leaders. Harris
Corp. supplies expertise in terminal and payload interfaces as well as
the satellite Ka-band antenna subsystem. ITT Industries is integrating
the payload control segment. Logicon is leading the effort in system
security engineering. SAIC supports the overall WGS systems
engineering effort.

The WGS System Program Office at SMC received the Air Force’s John
J. Welch Award for acquisition management this year for its aggressive
pursuit of DoD acquisition-reform strategies modeled after commercial
item acquisitions.

Boeing is the world’s leading manufacturer of commercial
communications satellites, and is also a major provider of space
systems, satellites and payloads for national defense, science and
environmental applications.

The Boeing Co. is the largest aerospace company in the world and
the United States’ leading exporter. It is NASA’s largest contractor
and the largest manufacturer of commercial jetliners and military
aircraft.

The company’s capabilities in aerospace also include rotorcraft,
electronic and defense systems, missiles, rocket engines, launch
vehicles, satellites, and advanced information and communication
systems. The company has an extensive global reach with customers in
145 countries.

SpaceRef staff editor.