The fifth Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS) has completed on-orbit testing and is now being operated by the Air Force, according to an announcement by satellite manufacturer Boeing.
WGS-5, the second satellite of the WGS Block II upgrade, was launched in May. WGS-6, launched in August, “is performing as expected and scheduled to complete its handover to the Air Force later this year,” Boeing said.
WGS SATCOM is designed to provide a global communications network. It is partly funded by Australia, while Canada, Denmark, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and New Zealand have since joined the program. The satellite network offers capabilities such as communicating with UAVs.
“WGS-5 addresses a critical need of the Defense Department by increasing capacity and enhancing global coverage, supporting warfighters with communications bandwidth when they need it,” said Craig Cooning, vice president and general manager of Boeing Space & Intelligence Systems.