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Wideband Global SATCOM Satellite

An artist’s conception of the WGS 11+ satellite.  (Courtesy of Boeing)

An artist’s conception of the WGS 11+ satellite. (Courtesy of Boeing)


As the backbone of the U.S. military's global satellite communications, Wideband Global SATCOM Satellite (WGS) system provides flexible, high-capacity communications for the Nation's warfighters through procurement and operation of the satellite constellation and the associated control systems. WGS provides worldwide flexible, high data rate and long haul communications for the Department of Defense (DOD), governmental organizations and international partners.

The WGS system is a constellation of highly capable military communications satellites that leverage cost-effective methods and technological advances in the communications satellite industry.  The WGS system is composed of three principal segments: Space Segment (satellites), Control Segment (operators) and Terminal Segment (users). Each WGS satellite provides service in multiple frequency bands, with the unprecedented ability to cross-band between the two frequencies onboard the satellite. WGS augments other satellites.

Each WGS satellite is digitally channelized and transponded. These characteristics provide a quantum leap in communications capacity, connectivity and flexibility for U.S. military forces and international partners while seamlessly integrating with current and future terminals. Just one WGS satellite provides more SATCOM capacity than the entire legacy Defense Satellite Communications System (DSCS) constellation.

WGS provides essential communications services, allowing Combatant Commanders to exert command and control of their tactical forces, from peace time to military operations. Tactical forces will rely on WGS to provide high-capacity connectivity to the Defense Information Systems Network (DISN).

The on-orbit WGS constellation is comprised of multiple satellites in geosynchronous orbit.

The U.S. Space Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center is responsible for development, acquisition, fielding and sustainment of the WGS Program.
Space Delta 8’s 4th Space Operations Squadron located at Schriever Air Force Base, Colo., operates WGS.

General Characteristics
Primary function: High-capacity military communications satellite


Oct. 10, 2007
April 4, 2009
Dec. 5, 2009
Jan. 19, 2012
May 23, 2013
Aug. 7, 2013
July 23, 2015
Dec. 7, 2016
March 18, 2017
March 15, 2019
(Current as of Oct 2020)