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New York (AirGuideBusiness - Space News) Jan 22, 2012

Boeing Military satellite to speed broadband rate launches. A new military broadband communications satellite has launched from Cape Canaveral, Fla., aboard a Delta 4 rocket. The USD464 million satellite, built by Boeing, is designed to significantly improve the military's communication rates for high-resolution video and other data. Jan 20, 2012

Boeing Boeing to Build More Wideband Global SATCOM Satellites for US Air Force. Boeing has received authorization from the U.S. Air Force to produce and launch the eighth and ninth Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS) satellites. The WGS-9 authorization and the WGS-8 production option, which was authorized last month, have a combined value of USD673 million and are part of the USD1.09 billion contract modification announced by the Air Force in September 2011. "With these options exercised, we are able to expand the WGS constellation and provide communications resiliency for combatant commanders worldwide," said Craig Cooning, vice president and general manager of Boeing Space & Intelligence Systems. "This will give warfighters the ability to ensure that vital communication links are available at all times, even in the event that one or more critical nodes are disabled." WGS-8 and -9 will join four other satellites that are part of the Block II series. Block II adds a switchable radio frequency bypass that enables the transmission of airborne intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance imagery at data rates approximately three times greater than the rates available on Block I satellites. WGS-9 is being funded through a cooperative agreement that the U.S. Air Force has forged with Canada, Denmark, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and New Zealand. This expands the WGS international partnership beyond WGS-6, which was funded by the Australian government in 2008. "International participation in WGS is a win-win arrangement on many levels," said Cooning. "Use of common SATCOM systems provides communications interoperability between allied forces. For the U.S. military, the partners bring additional funding to expand the constellation and make it more resilient. And for a relatively modest investment, international partners receive immediate access to worldwide services that they might not otherwise be able to obtain." WGS satellites are built on the proven Boeing 702HP platform, which features highly efficient xenon-ion propulsion, deployable thermal radiators...

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