WGS: Model satellite procurement with cost-cutting efficiencies

Once intended as a satellite project meant to plug a major gap in communications capabilities for the U.S. military, the Wideband Global Satcom constellation has emerged as the primary backbone for moving the Defense Department’s wideband data, reports Aviation Week.

The success of Boeing’s WGS is seen in DOD’s intention to purchase as many as 10 WGS satellites from the company to take advantage of a good investment, the article said. The three operational WGS satellites are currently handling 90 percent of DOD’s wideband requirements.

"The reason the department has decided to buy more WGS [satellites] is the cost model is getting significantly cheaper,” David Madden, director of the Air Force’s military satellite communications program office in Los Angeles, said in the article. He said that in planning for Satellites 7-9, the Boeing team reduced per unit cost by at least $80 million.

What’s more, the Air Force chose to reduce some testing processes based on the solid performance of the three satellites in orbit, the article said.

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