Wideband Global SATCOM, or WGS, is the Department of Defense’s highest capacity communication satellite and the backbone of the US military’s satellite communications network. US military and global partners turn to WGS for high speed data transfer and communications over protected frequencies to and from the battlefield.
WGS operates in two important wavelength frequencies, one commonly used to support unmanned aerial vehicles—an increasingly important tool for the military—and another frequency used by many Navy vessels that require signal strength in adverse weather conditions.
On October 13, final control of the newest WGS satellite (WGS-7) – which launched earlier this year – was handed over to the US Air Force. Not only does WGS-7 provide more bandwidth than previous WGS satellites, but the government saved more than $150 million on WGS 7 through 10 by incorporating more streamlined commercial processes and practices on the program. This continues an effort to add increased capabilities while also lowering per unit cost.
Earlier this year , Protected Tactical Waveform (PTW) performance was successfully demonstrated over WGS-7. PTW is a next-generation waveform developed by the US government to provide increased anti-jam protection to deployed forces that operate where enemies may block their communication signals. The ability to use PTW in the future will be vital to the protection of warfighters in hostile environments.
Present at the recent launch of WGS-7 were several representatives from allied nations who have partnered with the US to fund WGS-6 (Australia) and WGS-9 (Denmark, The Netherlands, Canada, New Zealand and Luxembourg). Cooperation across allied nations is an integral part of the affordability and capabilities of the WGS system.
Check out this video for more information on WGS and global partnerships: