Wideband Global Satellite Communications Program completes major milestone in development of WGS-11+ Satellite and Ground System

  • Published
  • By SSC Public Affairs
Space Systems Command’s  Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS)-11+ program successfully completed a Critical Design Review (CDR) evaluating against requirements to ensure optimal capability is delivered to the warfighter. The program maintains an aggressive five-year schedule poised to deliver six months faster than legacy WGS satellites. Delivering complex cutting-edge capabilities affords a competitive edge against adversaries and WGS-11+ serves as a model for how to move faster in acquisitions.
The revolutionary WGS-11+ satellite will have more communications flexibility than the entire existing WGS constellation and will provide Combatant Commanders with twice the mission capability in contested environments. Communication channels and terrestrial footprints can be uniquely tailored to warfighter demands. This enables increased mission flexibility and responsiveness with smaller footprints that help protect against jamming. WGS-11+ will eventually join a constellation of ten WGS satellites, substantially enhancing global coverage of essential communication services for the Defense Department and its allies.
The five-day CDR event was co-chaired by Space Systems Command (SSC) senior leaders with attendees from across the Department of Defense, and the U.S. Space Force and Army. Following COVID-19 precautions, the WGS-11+ program office collaborated with Boeing program partners to produce a hybrid CDR with a virtual option and limited in-person attendance. Stakeholders attending in person were able to handle hardware as part of their discussion and design review with the presenting engineers.
“The WGS-11+ program is part of SSC’s mission to continue forging the future of space by delivering next generation capabilities to our warfighters and mission partners in front of the need,” said Col. Matt Spencer, SSC Geosynchronous Earth Orbit and Polar Division senior materiel leader. “With the CDR complete, WGS-11+ presses forward as a SSC pacesetter program, delivering the rapid application of the latest commercial technology our industry partners have to offer.”
“One of the perks of my job is hearing from Joint warfighters how WGS enabled mission successes,” said John Kirk, chief of Wideband Plans, Army Space and Missile Defense Command. “I’ve heard repeatedly across all DoD services from warfighters excited to see the enhanced capabilities of WGS-11, which enables more flexible operations and brings additional resiliency features that protect the dedicated communications upon which they rely.”
“More than one year of planning has culminated in an impressive display of Boeing’s readiness to use rapid prototyping and additive manufacturing to transform commercial technology for the warfighter at a record breaking speed,” said Capt. Brandon Nguyen, SSC WGS-11+ Payload integrated product team lead. “Technical mastery, hard work, and dedication by the WGS-11+ government and industry team came together to execute this milestone accomplishment.”
“This key milestone accomplishment represents thousands of hours of work across the government and industry team to solidify the spacecraft design,” said Lt. Col. David Edsen, SSC WGS-11+ program manager. “It marks the beginning of the production phase and we are excited to see the plan come together so our warfighters and international partners will have this extraordinary capability on orbit as soon as possible.”
SSC is the U.S. Space Force field command responsible for rapidly identifying, prototyping and fielding resilient space capabilities for joint warfighters. SSC delivers sustainable joint space warfighting capabilities to defend the nation and its allies while disrupting adversaries in the contested space domain. SSC mission areas include launch acquisition and operations; space domain awareness; positioning, navigation and timing; missile warning; satellite communication; and cross-mission ground, command and control and data.