HomeAbout UsFact SheetsDisplay

Wideband Global SATCOM Satellite

Mission
As the backbone of the U.S. military's global satellite communications, WGS provides flexible, high-capacity communications for the Nation's warfighters through procurement and operation of the satellite constellation and the associated control systems. WGS provides worldwide flexible, high data rate and long haul communications for marines, soldiers, sailors, airmen, the White House Communication Agency, the US State Department, international partners, and other special users.

Features
The WGS system is a constellation of highly capable military communications satellites that leverage cost-effective methods and technological advances in the communications satellite industry.  The WGS system is composed of three principal segments: Space Segment (satellites), Control Segment (operators) and Terminal Segment (users). WGS Space Vehicles (SVs) are the Department of Defense's highest capacity communications satellites. Each WGS satellite provides service in both the X and Ka frequency bands, with the unprecedented ability to cross-band between the two frequencies onboard the satellite. WGS augments the one-way Global Broadcast Service (GBS) service through new two-way Ka-band service.
Each WGS satellite is digitally channelized and transponded. These characteristics provide a quantum leap in communications capacity, connectivity and flexibility for U.S. military forces and international partners while seamlessly integrating with current and future X- and Ka-band terminals. Just one WGS satellite provides more SATCOM capacity than the entire legacy Defense Satellite Communications System (DSCS) constellation.

Background
WGS provides essential communications services, allowing Combatant Commanders to exert command and control of their tactical forces, from peace time to military operations. Tactical forces will rely on WGS to provide high-capacity connectivity to the Defense Information Systems Network (DISN).

International partners participating on the WGS program are Australia, Canada, Denmark, Luxembourg, The Netherlands and New Zealand.
The on-orbit WGS constellation is comprised of six satellites in geosynchronous orbit. The first WGS satellite was launched in October 2007.  There are three Block I satellites (launched in October 2007, April 2009, December 2009) and three WGS Block II satellites (launched in January 2012, May 2013, and August 2013).

Part of the Space and Missile Systems Center's MILSATCOM Directorate, the Wideband MILSATCOM Division is responsible for development, acquisition, fielding and sustainment of the WGS Program. Four Block II follow-on satellites are anticipated for launch between FY15 and FY 18. WGS satellites are launched either via the Delta IV or the Atlas V Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle.

General characteristics
Primary function: high-capacity military communications satellite
Primary contractor: Boeing Defense, Space and Security
Payload: transponded, cross-banded-X and Ka-band communications suite
Antennas: electrically steerable, phased array X-band transmit and receive; mechanically steered Ka-band; and fixed Earth-coverage X-band
Capability: 39 125-MHz Channels via digital channelizer/router, 2.1 Gbps capacity

Launches
WGS-1:  Oct. 10, 2007
WGS-2:  April 4, 2009
WGS-3:  Dec. 5, 2009
WGS-4:  Jan. 19, 2012
WGS-5:  May 23, 2013
WGS-6:  Aug. 7, 2013
WGS-7:  TBD
WGS-8:  TBD
WGS-9:  TBD
WGS- 10:  TBD

(Current as of November 2015)

Point of Contact: Air Force Space Command Public Affairs Office; 150 Vandenberg St., Suite 1105; Peterson AFB, Colo., 80914-4500; DSN 692-3731 or (719) 554-3731.

Engage

Facebook Twitter
RT @DeptofDefense: If you want to get there as fast as possible, don’t stop for gas. ⛽ That’s why the @usairforce relies on airmen like Tec…
RT @DeptofDefense: Press ▶️ to learn more about @USAFCENT, the command that provides air & space warfighting capabilities to help defeat v…
Airmen with the Puerto Rico Air National Guard provide support at the “tent cities” to support Task Force South and… https://t.co/zg2yT0LqpS
Even the most advanced aircraft in history requires extensive maintenance performed by Airmen on the ground to kee… https://t.co/Kpv8JlzYIc
RT @AirMobilityCmd: Throwback Thursday and #TankerThirstThursday are the same game. Throwing it back to last month when a KC-135 Stratotank…
If you thought the C-5M Super Galaxy was cool before, wait until you hear @RichardHammond describe it and its capab… https://t.co/jbYbdyHx5q
Air National Guardsmen from @105AW are on the ground in Puerto Rico with their counterpart, @PRNationalGuard, provi… https://t.co/ZwzhCEpWY4
RT @HAFB: Join us for the Hill Air Force Base 80th Anniversary Celebration from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Jan. 18 at the Hill Aerospace Museum! A nu…
Ranges are crucial to the training and readiness of our warfighters. Get an inside look at how they prepare to figh… https://t.co/i5CnbpBGAw
.@cmsaf18 and his wingman, Senior Enlisted Advisor to Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Chief Master Sergeant… https://t.co/UD69jCjHPz
#AirForce is always looking for ways to improve processes and patient health care is no different. @JBSA_Official h… https://t.co/ysEFjoXYCE
RT @USAF_ACC: You know what day it is. #WarthogWednesday! 🐗👏 #DYK the weapon on the #A10Thunderbolt II is a 30 millimeter GAU-8 and is des…
RT @SpaceForceDoD: Earlier today, @SpaceForceCSO Gen. John W. Raymond became the first ever Chief of Space Operations. @VP Vice President M…
C-17 Globemaster IIIs sit at @March_ARB, where their engines routinely receive special eco-washes to prevent corros… https://t.co/so1CEcJYsP
.@90thMissileWing's innovative #Airmen have developed a virtual care system. Learn how Airmen in the field can use… https://t.co/1EqZgBm0FR
RT @Mike_Pence: It was my privilege to swear-in our Nation’s first @SpaceForceCSO, General Jay Raymond! After serving our country for over…
RT @DeptofDefense: WATCH LIVE: @VP Mike Pence swears-in @SpaceForceDoD @SpaceForceCSO Gen. John “Jay” Raymond at the @WhiteHouse Jan. 14 at…